Monday, March 18, 2019

Pinduli - Janell Cannon

Summary: Pinduli's mama has always told her that she's the most beautiful hyena ever. But Dog, Lion, and Zebra don't think so. Why else would they make her feel so rotten about her big ears, her fuzzy mane, and her wiggly stripes? Poor Pinduli just wants to disappear--and she tries everything she can think of to make that happen. Yet nothing goes her way. Nothing, that is, until a case of mistaken identity lets her show the creatures of the African savanna how a few tiny words--bad or good--can create something enormous.

Janell Cannon, the creator of the bestselling Stellaluna, introduces yet another endearing character in this triumphant story about self-image, self-acceptance, and treating others with respect.

Includes notes about hyenas and other animals of the African savanna. (image and summary from

My Review: Hyena are often seen in a bad light, which makes me sad because I actually am rather fond of hyenas.  The hyenas in this book are of the striped variety.

Pinduli is a cute little story about not worrying about what others think of us, but it is also a trickster story.  Pinduli knows her mother says she is the most beautiful little hyena, but she lets others' opinions make her change her appearance until she becomes unrecognizable, and that is where the trick begins.

It also goes to explore how words can be dangerous and their effects can last far beyond where they were originally meant to fall.  Each of the animals that insult Pinduli were in turn insulted by other animals in a chain that carries on since they themselves are insecure, and teaches that we should be careful what we say.

Cannon's adorable illustrations tell two stories--the full color pictures that follow the main story of Pinduli on her little adventure, and the pen and ink doodles on the other page that follow Pinduli's mother anxiously searching for her.  She wonderfully captures the animals of Africa in her story, highlighting an animal that is lesser known and making her the hero of the story.

My Rating: Four Stars

For the sensitive reader: nothing offensive 

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