Honey, Honey—Lion!: a story from Africa
by Brett, Jan
Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
Age Range: 4–7 years
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2005
African animals and landscapes take center stage in this lively retelling of a traditional folktale from Botswana. Honeyguide (a small bird) leads Badger to a honeycomb, which he breaks open with his strong claws for both of them to share. One day, for unknown reasons, Badger does not share, and Honeyguide angrily plots revenge. Shield-shaped vignettes (decorated in feathers and beads) within Brett's signature borders show other animals (including elephants, hippos, warthogs and bishop birds) responding to this news as Honeyguide leads Badger ("pitter patter," "splish splash," etc.) to-surprise!-a lion hiding behind a lift-the-flap acacia bush. Lion chases Badger back to his burrow with sound effects repeating at an accelerated pace. The tale concludes with the animals passing the moral of the story to one another via "bush telegraph": "If Honeyguide leads you to a beehive, be sure and reward her, or next time, she will lead you to a lion." The cumulative patterns, sound effects and suspense, together with the dramatically depicted animals, will make this a popular choice for reading aloud. Ages 4 to 7.
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