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The Resource Mabela the clever, by Margaret Read MacDonald ; illustrated by Tim Coffey

Mabela the clever, by Margaret Read MacDonald ; illustrated by Tim Coffey

Label
Mabela the clever
Title
Mabela the clever
Statement of responsibility
by Margaret Read MacDonald ; illustrated by Tim Coffey
Creator
Contributor
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
An African folktale about a mouse who pays close attention to her surroundings and avoids being tricked by the cat
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ PreS-Gr 2 –MacDonald's retelling of this Limba tale is engineered for storytime success. The silly mice in Mabela's village are hunted by one clever cat. Thankfully, Mabela is pretty clever herself compared to most of her peers. When the cat invites the mice to join her "secret Cat Society," they can hardly believe their luck. All they have to do is lead the cat into the forest, sing at the top of their lungs, and never look back. Because she is the smallest mouse, Mabela is the first in line. With every loud refrain, however, she notices substantial evidence that fewer and fewer mice seem to be singing and marching behind her. Remembering her wise father's advice for survival when she is "out and about," Mabela manages to save her friends and leave the treacherous cat tangled in thorns. MacDonald prefaces the story with brief background information about the oral tradition in Limba culture and suggests an original song and a game to encourage creative interaction. Coffey's thatch-strewn paintings, rendered in acrylic on watercolor paper textured with gesso, feature lots of visibly clueless, wide-eyed mice, and his cat oozes predatory shrewdness to the very end.–Catherine T. Quattlebaum, DeKalb County Public Library, Atlanta, GA --Catherine T. Quattlebaum (Reviewed June 1, 2001) (School Library Journal, vol 47, issue 6, p139)
  • MacDonald's (Pickin' Peas ) spry retelling of an African folktale, in which a mouse imparts the importance of using all the senses, is alight with humor (" 'Oh, my, you have ALL arrived!' said the Cat. 'How delicious... I mean, how delightful.' "). Tricked by a cat into thinking they're being initiated into his secret society, a village full of mice foolishly learn and obey the words to the club's song: "When we are marching,/ we never look back!/ The cat is at the end,/ Fo Feng!/ Fo Feng !" He promptly absconds with the last mouse in line at each refrain ("Every time the mice shouted Fo Feng ! The Cat Fo Fenged another mouse!"). Leading the procession is little Mabela, who has been taught to keep her ears and eyes open, pay attention and, if necessary, "move fast !" Which is exactly what she does once she figures out what Cat is up to, and traps her pursuer, thereby saving all the captured mice. Coffey (Red Berry Wool ) plays up the comedy in his subtly exaggerated illustrations. Cat's sharply angular face and elongated oval eyes make an amusing visual contrast to the plump, google-eyed, multi-colored mice. His acrylics on watercolor paper textured with gesso create an appealingly tactile quality, and the uncluttered setting of thatched-roof huts, tawny plains and vibrant greenery are punctuated by bright red-and-purple geometric borders that recall African fabrics. Ages 4-7. (May) --Staff (Reviewed May 14, 2001) (Publishers Weekly, vol 248, issue 20, p81)
  • "In the early times, some were clever and some were foolish. The Cat was one of the clever ones. The mice were mostly foolish." So begins MacDonald's latest folktale retelling, this one from the Limba people of Sierra Leone. When the Cat invites the mice to join the secret Cat Society, they are only too pleased and cheerfully line themselves up for the "initiation march" while the Cat scoops them up and puts them in her sack. Luckily for the mice, there is one clever one, Mabela, who remembers her father's sage advice and escapes from the Cat just in time, rescuing the other mice as the Cat languishes in a thorn bush. The energetic text is trademark MacDonald (Pickin' Peas, 1998, etc.), written purely to be read aloud, and punctuated by a chant that invites children to join in. Coffey's (Red Berry Wool, 1999) saturated acrylics depict a vaguely African anthropomorphized world where animals live in grass huts. Bright borders set off the text blocks, and occasionally frame a detail, such as a tiny tongue sneaking out to lick a delicate chop when the cat greets the eager mice: " 'Oh, my, you have ALL arrived!' said the Cat. 'How delicious . . . I mean, how delightful.' " The Cat is orange, and her pointy green eyes protrude from the plane of her face, giving her a truly shifty-eyed (and somewhat disconcerting) look. Mabela herself is a little red mouse, whose enormous eyes dominate her bucktoothed face. The tale is somewhat moralizing at the end—"Limba grandparents say, 'If a person is clever, it is because someone has taught them their cleverness' "—but children will respond nevertheless to this plucky little heroine who saves herself by her wits. (Picture book/folktale. 4-8) (Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2001)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
112198
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1940-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
MacDonald, Margaret Read
Index
no index present
Intended audience
AD380L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
LG
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • -1
  • 2
Reading level
2.8
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Coffey, Tim
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
Folklore
Target audience
primary
Label
Mabela the clever, by Margaret Read MacDonald ; illustrated by Tim Coffey
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
402809
Dimensions
23 x 29 cm
Extent
1 volume
Isbn
9780807549025
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
00008307
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
color illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780807549025
  • (Sirsi) ADB-3534
Label
Mabela the clever, by Margaret Read MacDonald ; illustrated by Tim Coffey
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
402809
Dimensions
23 x 29 cm
Extent
1 volume
Isbn
9780807549025
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
00008307
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
color illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780807549025
  • (Sirsi) ADB-3534

Library Locations

    • Twin Oaks BranchBorrow it
      1800 S. Fifth St., Austin, TX, 78704, US
      30.2486884 -97.76239749999999
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