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by Noreha Yussof Day

illustrated by Britta Teckentrup



In this tale from Malaysia, Kancil, a mouse deer–and trickster–and Kura-Kura, a tortoise, are best friends in an idyllic tropical forest enticingly rendered in Teckentrup’s cut-paper illustrations. “All the animals lived happily together, as long as they were careful to talk to the crocodiles–who were always hungry–from a distance,” Day puts it, economical and witty in her first picture book. On this day, however, Kancil wants some juicy fruit, which happens to be across the crocodile-filled river. Inventive Kancil tells the crocodiles the king needs to make arrangements for a party to which they are invited, but must be counted to make sure there’s enough food. The crocodiles happily line up to be counted, making a bridge for Kancil and Kura-Kura to cross. Kancil is silly enough to spill the beans, enraging the crocodiles, and the book closes as the best friends belatedly remember that they need to return to the other bank. That twist–along with the lively pace and blithe tone–will make readers smile. (Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 1996)


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, Ages 0-8, Folklore, Non-fiction