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With its shocking-pink jacket and swirls of brilliant designs- McDermotts retelling of this rain forest tale is visually arresting but narratively a bit colorless. The reputed trickster Jabuti gets his comeuppance when a jealous Vulture offers to fly the tortoise and his flute to the King of Heavens festival of song- then wickedly drops his passenger down from the skies. The King of Heaven chastises the vulture- and the birds who put Jabutis smooth shell back together again gain new feathers as their reward. Though Jabutis shell is cracked and patched- his song is sweet. Oddly- Jabuti doesnt possess a tricksters lively intelligence or cleverness- and the storys plot is resolved by the God of Heavens intervention rather than by the protagonists cunning. The story begins with the animals that Jabuti has tricked- but they all disappear immediately in favor of a pourquoi tale about how the tortoise got the cracks on his shell. McDermotts illustrations- on the other hand- vibrate with electric colors and patterns. Jabutis huge eyes and geometric smile- and the interior- brightly colored birds are startling when silhouetted against the pink sky.This title is suitable for ages 4-8.... Please click here to ask a question
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