The Baboon's Umbrella: An African Folktale
. Childrens Press . Chicago
PZ8.2.C48 Bab 1991 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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The text rightly identifies this story as an African fable. And it is a good fable! For those who want to consult a text, it is on the second-to-last page. Baboon always takes his umbrella with him. One morning he cannot close his umbrella. A friendly chimpanzee suggests cutting holes in the umbrella so that he can enjoy the sun. Baboon follows the foolish advice. Of course it soon rains, and the baboon gets soaking wet. The advice of friends is like the weather: sometimes good, sometimes bad. The book's great value, though, is that it is almost entirely pictures. The story is told wordlessly on some 19 pages. Perhaps the last picture is the best: the dry chimpanzee in a tree looks down through his fingers at the baboon getting wet. There are two pages of print at the front on storytelling and wordless picture-books. It would be fun to read this book with a child who has not yet learned to read. There is a lot for him or her to find in the pictures.