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Author: Averbeck, Jim
In this tale from Cameroon, Yoyo has to make amends when she offends Brother Coin, the Great Spirit of the Market, by asking too high a price for her bitterleaf stew.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.10
Points: .5 Quiz: 156525
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 2.40
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 60045
School Library Journal (03/01/13)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2013 PreS-Gr 4—Bold, bright mixed-media illustrations bring extra punch to this original tale from Cameroon. Mama Cécile is a wonderful cook, especially when it comes to making bitterleaf stew. She sings to Yoyo as she teaches her how to make it. Yoyo grows tired of watching her mother and thinks she can make her own stew without following a recipe. When hers is found to be less than appetizing and Mama instructs her to feed it to the goats, the child hides it instead. After Mama's stew is finished, she heaps it into a bowl and asks for the ancestors' blessing on it. "You must always ask a fair price for our food," instructs Mama, or Brother Coin will remove the blessings of our ancestors from the bowl. Mama's stew is quickly sold at the market. When one more customer requests it, Yoyo produces her own bowl. The buyer refuses her price, so Yoyo lets his coins fall to the ground. No one buys Mama's stew for many weeks, and Yoyo realizes she must think of a clever way to trick Brother Coin into returning his blessing. Mama and Yoyo are dressed in delightful printed clothing, and the busy marketplace is a feast of patterns and color. Similarly, Brother Coin is a giant of a man who sits upon a rock throne doling out his form of justice for rule breakers with a comedic quality. This is a gem of a tale that will feed the soul, and the recipe for Mama Cécile's stew is included.—Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.