ABOUT THE BOOKIn a jungle far, far away, the animals are getting ready for the storytelling festival. Lion, Monkey and Tortoise delight the audience with well-known stories from their family lore. “C-c-can I tell a story too?” asks Ostroo the ostrich. Others make fun of him because he stammers – but where there is a story, there’s always a way!
- The Jungle Storytelling Festival is the story of Ostroo the ostrich. Ostroo has a stammer, but he wants to take part in the Jungle Storytelling Festival like all his other friends. The animals make fun of him – how can an ostrich with a stammer tell a story? But with a little help from Mouse Mamma and her children Eli and Meli, Ostroo is able to overcome his inhibitions and prove everyone else wrong. This is a sweet story about believing in yourself and the importance of having patient, supportive friends.
- The charm of the book is its liberal use of stories within the larger story. Whenever one of the animals tells a story, it is represented by a set of wordless illustrated panels, which pictorially narrate well-known tales like that of the hare and the tortoise and the monkey and the crocodile. These wordless illustrations leave the stories open to interpretations by the reader, and if used creatively by a parents or teacher, can make the book an interactive and fun experience.
- Some of the illustrations are very sweet indeed. Ostroo, with his round, fuzzy head, and the teeny-tiny mouse family are particularly charming
- The writing, however, lacks a certain punch. Whether it is the songs that Ostroo and the mice sing towards the end, or the narration by the writer herself, there is a blandness to the style that seems out of place in a story that is specifically about orality. This takes away from the impact of the book.