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Crocodile and Hen: A Bakongo Folktale
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Crocodile and Hen: A Bakongo Folktale

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  15 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Crocodile is determined to eat fat and juicy-looking Hen! But when he opens his mouth wide to swallow her, Hen calmly says, "My brother, don't eat me," and Crocodile just can't do it. What does Hen mean? How can Crocodile be her brother? Does Hen know something Crocodile doesn't?

Clever Hen outwits the confused and hungry Crocodile in this comic folktale from the Bakongo pe...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 10th 2001 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1969)
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James Son
This story takes place near a river, where a very hungry crocodile dwells. One day, the crocodile sees a very juicy and fat hen walking, and prepares to eat it. However, as he is about to charge, the hen makes a very surprising remark. She calls the crocodile "my brother", and shows no fear. After hearing this, the crocodile becomes very confused and could not bring himself to eat the hen. This happens repeatedly throughout the story, and the crocodile questions it more and more. Then at the end...more
This lighthearted tale of a smart hen who convinces a crocodile not to eat her, will delight readers. The hen repetitively says a phrase to the crocodile that makes him hesitant to eat her. He then goes to ask a friend what the hen’s words mean. Eventually, the crocodile and the hen become friends when the crocodile realizes that they have things in common.
The words and illustrations in this story go very well together. The illustrations feature friendly looking animals appropriate for any chil...more
Elizabeth S
I like the pictures and the basic message of the book. As with many folktales, there is repetition. But the repetition in this book has so little variety that one wonders if there was an error. I'm not sure if that is the way folktales from Bankongo are, or if that is just how the translator decided to do it. Even so, it is a fun tale and the pictures do help break up the monotony. The best part of the book is seeing a crocodile shrug.
This African folktale shows how using your brain can work to your benefit. The hen was saved from being eaten on several occasions due to her well thought out tactics with the crocodile. They are similar, in a very small way, yet enough for the crocodile to see the "brother" relationship and not eat her. Kids would find the hen to be resourceful and cunning while learning about the animals and their habitats.
This story has a great moral. It teaches students about differences and similarities. Although it is irresponsible in representing the human species with varying animal species, it still has the moral of inclusion that's valuable for kids to learn at a young age.
Based on a folktale from the Bakongo people of the Republic of the Congo, this book is "An I Can Read Book" for beginner readers. Cartoon-like drawings, repetitious text, and a humorous story make this book appealing to young children.
May 18, 2009 Cws added it  ·  review of another edition
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