Picture Books

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Dada, Fathima, Gcina Mhlophe, and Leoni Hofmeyr

Horns Only


Illustrated by Heather Moore and Jiggs Snaddon-Wood. Cape Town, South Africa: Maskew Miller Longman, 2002. No pag. ISBN 0-636-05437-3. Ages 2-5.


Languages: English, Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, SeSotho, SeTswana, SePedi


Publisher: Maskew Miller Longman (MML)


Summary
This is a cheerful animal fable with its talking animals and wild, colourful illustrations. Zebra and Monkey want to attend a “Horns Only” party with Buffalo, Giraffe, Duiker, and others. So they make horns from sticks and leaves and are soon the life and soul of the party – until the makeshift horns fall off. Then, as they depart sadly, someone asks, “Why must they have horns anyway?” (no pag.). Nobody has an answer. So Zebra and Monkey and all the other animals are welcomed back. “It was the best party ever!” (no pag.).

Commentary
This read-aloud story is both enjoyable and thought provoking. It can be read as a fable about outward differences. The three authors (Fathima Dada, a leading publisher; Gcina Mhlophe, a famous storyteller; and Leoni Hofmeyr, an experienced editor) represent a cross-section of South African expertise, while the two up-and-coming illustrators provide highly appropriate animal characters and colour washes.

 

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