The Great Tug of War

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Beverley Naidoo
Frances Lincoln
Mar 2006
One of the most familiar Tricksters in literature has got to be Brer Rabbit, featuring in eight volumes of animal tales written � or rather retold � by Joel Chandler Harris in the �Uncle Remus� series. The 185 stories these volumes consist of are retellings of tales told by slaves on the plantation where Harris worked as a printer�s assistant. In �The Great Tug of War�, by Beverley Naidoo, published as the third book in Frances Lincoln�s new fiction range for 8 � 12 year olds, the origins of these stories are traced back to Africa in Mmuthla (pronounced m-moo-tl-ah) a trickster hare�

The eight stories explore the hoodwinking, hoaxing and habits little Mmutla employs to gain the better of the larger animals; elephants, hippos, lions, giraffes and baboons to name but a few� Readers are allowed privileged position whereby they see the unravelling of the chaos Mmutla creates leading to a wonderful sense of anticipation and impatience to learn how this might all end� The language of the book is beautifully lyrical and there�s a sense of richness within the untold tales that comprise constituent parts of the landscape that lies outstretched� here is a masterpiece made in miniature!

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on March 14, 2006 11:18 AM.

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