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The Elephant's Friend: and Other Tales from Ancient India    by Marcia Williams order for
Elephant's Friend
by Marcia Williams
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2012 (2012)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Marcia Williams combines her comic-book style illustrations with the retelling of eight animal folktales that are bound to enchant any young reader.

The opening tale is about an elephant and dog that become the best of friends. When the two are separated, the elephant has to figure out a way to be reunited with his good friend. Of course, he does and the story ends with a double moral; 'Never come between an elephant and his dog' and 'You can't put a price on friendship'.

The other animal short stories involve a scrawny old tiger, a talkative tortoise, a wise little pebet (bird), a golden swan, a monkey and crocodile, a foolish lion and three, very large fish.

This is a nice way to introduce a young child to the stories of another culture. The kid-friendly illustrations are infused with humor and warmth, as are the stories themselves. Although they are a little too busy for my liking, the brightly colored pages probably won't bother young readers and may even be a plus.

After enjoying these folktales you may wish to expand the topic by looking for similar stories from other cultures. I checked online under folklore and came up with a lot of interesting sites and other possible titles for young readers. Marcia Williams also has other books which cover ancient Egypt, Greek myths and Shakespeare.

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