Author(s): Janell Cannon
Illustrator/Photographer: Janell Cannon
Publisher and Year: 2004, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Number of pages: 44
Tags/Themes: Kasey Reaber, K-2, Animals, Habitats, Pride, Juvenile Fiction, Emotions
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Descriptive Annotation: This book is about a hyena named Pinduli. Her mother always told her that she was the most beautiful hyena! One day she went out to explore before her and her mother went hunting. Pinduli ends up running into a lion, zebra, and dog that thinks differently about her appearance. After hearing all of these things that are wrong with her, Pinduli tries everything to change her ears, fur, and stripes. Then she starts to role in pale dust to cover her fur and stripes. After rolling in the dust, she is all white. Pinduli then realizes that she should head home to eat. On her walk home she see the lion, zebra, and dog again. They are terrified by what they see! They all yell, “It’s a ghost!” Pinduli realizes that they are talking about her and she comes up with a genius plan. She makes them all explain why they were rude to her and told them that the only way to make up for their behaviors is to make peace with their tormentors and to always leave some food as an offering. The animals did as they were told and left offerings of food. Pinduli’s mother was so surprised by the food offerings and knew that Pinduli had something to do with it. Pinduli then shared the whole story with her mother and said that she was not only the most beautiful hyena but also the smartest! I do not think students need much background knowledge before reading this book. It is a lovely story about self-esteem and treating others with respect.
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This is a great book that talks about various animals. Students are able to see how being different is not a bad thing and to embrace it. The illustrations in this book are fantastic. They really capture all of the different animals and the way Pinduli transforms herself to be mistake for a ghost. This book can generate discussion on respect. Students will be able to see how treating others with respect, regardless of their appearance, is always the right thing to do.
Interdisciplinary Connections: This book could be use to reinforce content from social studies and science. Teachers could talk about different places of the world and the certain animals that reside there. They could show all of the different members of an animal family and compare that to a different animal family in a different location.
Other Information: Overall, I loved this book! I think it is a great way for students to be able to make certain connections that will be beneficial to them in their daily lives. I also really enjoyed the last few pages of the book. There are all of the different types of animals and a brief description below. Students will be able to read this and have a better sense of the animals and what they look like.