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Raouf Mama

RAOUF MAMA

WHY GOATS SMELL BAD
AND OTHER STORIES FROM BENIN

Translated and retold
by Mama
with illustrations
by Imna Arroyo

North Haven, Connecticut.
Linnet Books, 1997

REVIEWS


From Booklist , February 15, 1998 Gr. 4^-6, and for professional use. In the preface to this collection of folktales from his native Benin, Mama (now an associate professor of English at Eastern Connecticut State University) states that the book springs from his ongoing project, preserving the stories of "one of the richest oral traditions in Africa, the tales of the Fon people." The anthology includes stories of orphans, children, spirits, animals, and tricksters as well as cautionary and pourquoi tales. They all share a sense of dignity in the telling, whether the narrative involves a Cinderella figure who attends the ball dressed in rags, a man who honors a leper at his wedding, or a glutton who outfoxes a self-satisfied goat. Mama's notes appear at the end of each tale. Although he's too creative a storyteller to present the tales exactly as recorded, Mama is too good a scholar not to tell what he has changed or added. A rich, varied source of lively tales for children and storytellers to enjoy. Carolyn Phelan Copyrightę 1998, American Library Association. All rights reserved.


 

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