Reviewed by Barbara A. Lehman
Moodie’s original, modern fable echoes classic folktale motifs, such as smaller animals helping bigger ones, solving a problem with brains and by working together, the very ones that should be helping are too lazy, and village life is just as good as city life.
This final message is implicit in the story, which entertains in itself. As Moodie notes (Hill, 2014), together these themes exemplify the spirit of Ubuntu, or “everyone is family” and “we are all responsible for each other” (p. 180). Charming illustrations complement the narrative with double page maps as both preview and postscript. Continue reading.
Noko and the Kool Kats by Fiona Moodie
Published by Tafelberg Publishers Ltd. on 2014
Genres: Africa, Animals, Family, Folklore
Reading Level: Grades 1-2
Review Source: Africa Access
SYNOPSIS: Village animals are surprised when The Kool Kats’ large bus gets stuck in the sand near their village, and the supposedly sophisticated rock stars (Lion, Miss Leopard, Cheetah, and Impisi the hyena) helplessly whine about and bemoan their predicament—and the lack of GPS or cellphone reception seems insurmountable to them. The resourceful village animals come to their rescue, inviting them home for the night, digging out the bus the next day, and throwing a dance party celebration the second night. With this successful conclusion to The Kool Kats’ problem, the village animals realize that their own life is just fine.