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by Shirley Climo

illustrated by Francisco Mora


School Library Journal:

Gr 1–4— Each evening, the birds on the island of Luzon gather in an abandoned hut on Mount Pinatubo, and their “good-night songs” waft down to Maynilad and let the villagers know that it is time to prepare for bed. One night, however, Tuko, an arrogant gecko, barges into the hut with his “ear-splitting,” “TUK-O! TUKO!” His calls keep the feathered creatures awake night after night, making them too tired to sing and leaving the people confused about when to go to sleep. Every ploy the birds try to entice Tuko back to his swamp backfires until Haribon the eagle finally devises a successful plan. Climo’s retelling, sprinkled with Filipino words defined within the text and in a glossary, is infused with humor. After the birds describe Tuko’s singing as a “volcano,” “earthquake,” and “typhoon,” he quips, “Wasn’t I grand?” Watercolor illustrations depict a village with bamboo houses and people going about their daily lives of fishing, food preparation, and play. The expressions on the brightly colored birds’ faces as their plans repeatedly go awry and the scene in which Tuko contentedly rubs his belly after the eagle serves him a wasp feast are priceless. Climo provides a lengthy note about this tale, which is a lively choice for storytime.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT –Marianne Saccardi (Reviewed May 1, 2008) (School Library Journal, vol 54, issue 5, p113)


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, Ages 9-12, Animals, Bilingual, Folklore