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Last updated Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Author: Jannell Cannon
Date of Publication: 2004
ISBN: 0152046682
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2005

Synopsis: After sleeping through the hot East African afternoon, it is time for Mama Hyena and her child to go hunting. Pinduli promises to stay close by, but then trots off. She comes across a pack of wild dogs, a lion, and a zebra, and all tease her about her looks. She rolls in the dirt until her striped coat is a pallid gray and her ears are pinned back. The animals think that she is a "ghost" that has come for them. All of the creatures then confess that they teased the young hyena because another animal had made fun of them. The "ghost" understands and advises them to "find your tormentors and make peace?. And always leave a bit of every meal as an offering." By story's end, the animals have reconciled, and with all the food offerings left, Pinduli and her mother never have to scrounge around looking for meals.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Describe the animal on the front cover. What animal is it? What do you know about this animal? What animals are on the back cover? What are some of your favorite jungle animals?
•  Where do you think this story takes place?
•  Look in the inside cover. Which animal is scaring another animal?
•  Do you think the jungle can be scary? Why?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What feature of Pinduli did the dogs make fun of? The lion? The zebra?
•  After Pinduli's transformation, what did the animals think of her?
•  What were the reasons each animal gave for making fun of Pinduli? What punishment did she give them? Do you think it was a good or bad punishment? Why?
•  Why did Pinduli's mom tell her she was the "smartest hyena ever"?
•  How did Pinduli trick the other animals?
•  Why did the animals make fun of her?
•  Which animal was your favorite?
•  What's one of your favorite things about yourself? If you could change something about yourself, what would you change?

Craft ideas:
•  Choose one of the animals that live in Africa and draw a picture of it.
•  Make an animal face using an old CD. With yarn, construction paper, or crayons, try to add some of the things that makes this animal very different from other animals. Does it have stripes or spots? Big ears? Big hair? (Bring ahead option: old CDs, felt, small pom-poms, yarn, etc.)
•  Make a bookmark for someone and write a compliment on it.

Special activities:
•  After reading about the different types of animals in the back, play Simon Says by mimicking the different types of animals.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!