The Magic Gourd

by Baba Wagué Diakité

Kindhearted Rabbit is foraging for his family when he rescues Chameleon from a tangle... read more

Kindhearted Rabbit is foraging for his family when he rescues Chameleon from a tangle of thorns. Chameleon rewards him with a gourd bowl that fills itself with whatever the bearer requests—insects, carrots, even couscous! Rabbit shares the bounty with family and friends. When the king gets word of the gourd’s power, he steals it and asks for bowl after bowl of gold. Chameleon comes to the rescue again, this time presenting Rabbit with a little rock that pummels anyone who doesn’t know its name. The exasperated king is willing to give up the gourd, the gold, and all his food, too, to get the stone to stop hitting him in this humorous story about compassion, generosity, and kindness triumphing over greed. In addition to his trademark handpainted ceramic tiles, Mali native Baba Wagué Diakité has decorated ceramic plates, and bowls that represent the abundant gourd to illustrate this lively story. In the artwork, lush colors are framed by black-and-white border art inspired by Malian mud cloth patterns. In the text, words and phrases in Bambara, the national language of Mali, add texture to the spirited storytelling. The book concludes with notes on elements of the art and the story’s origins, a glossary, and information on related tales in other cultures. Honor Book, CCBC Caldecott Award Discussion; Honor Book, CCBC Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Discussion (Ages 4–7)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

show less