Name of Book: Greedy Zebra
Author: Mwenye Hadithi
Illustrator: Adrienne Kennaway
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Audience: Ages 3-8
Summary: Once, all the world’s animals were a dull gray color. Then a cave was discovered with colorful cloths of many patterns and types. All of the animals run to the cave to get the best hides to wear. All except zebra whose greedy appetite causes him to wind up with the color he now has.
Literary elements at work in the story: Mweney Hadithi has taken this African how and why story and retold it with all the grace of a fine storyteller. Ms. Kennaways illustrations, based on her life in Kenya, add movement and humor to this cautionary tale.
What does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story: Mr. Hadithi and Ms Kennaway show Africa in all of its rich color and folklore. Both live in Africa and have a keen ear and eye for their Kenyan culture.
Scripture: Exodus 32
Theology: The Israelite were like the zebra in the story. They should be happy; they are free. Instead they let distractions get in their way. They begin to “eat grass” from this field and that and lose sight of their main goal, being God’s people. For Zebra his distractions meant he finds for himself only a few pieces of tight white cloth. For the Israelites it meant spending 40 years in the desert. Following God is often difficult and requires that we watch carefully for the distractions that take us away from God.
Faith Talk Questions:
1. Can you think of a time when you were distracted from something you should gave be doing? Homework, chores, playing a game.
2. What happened?
3. What distraction did the Zebra have?
4. What distractions did the Israelites have?
5. Why did Zebra and the Israelites get distracted.
6. What can you do to help you stay on God’s path.
Review prepared by guest reviewer Janet Lloyd
Greedy Zebra by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.