Cover image for Shadow dance
Shadow dance
Mollel, Tololwa M. (Tololwa Marti)
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, [1998]

Physical Description:
31 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
When the crocodile she has rescued tricks her, little Salome must use some cunning of her own to escape becoming his next meal.
Reading Level:
AD 420 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.5 0.5 35406.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.6 2 Quiz: 28146 Guided reading level: M.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.1.M73 SH 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.1.M73 SH 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PZ8.1.M73 SH 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales

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Singing and dancing with her shadow, Salome hears the cries of a crocodile trapped in a gully. It takes only a moment for the kind and resourceful girl to free him. But instead of being grateful, the crocodile traps Salome. Can she come up with a good reason why he shouldn't eat her for lunch? Even if she can, he won't let her go! With the help of a friendly pigeon, Salome makes her escape, and the duplicitous Crocodile winds up right where he deserves to be. Based on a traditional theme inEuropean, Asian, and African folklore, this story of ingratitude and its comeuppance is illustrated with vividly colored pastel drawings that enhance the suspense and humor of the text. The tune of Salome's song is included so that readers can sing along. Author's note, glossary.

Author Notes

Tololwa Mollel was born in Tanzania in 1952. He grew up in Arusha Tanzania at the times when oral tradition was still alive and well. Mollel received his undergraduate degree from the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, and his masters degree from the University of Alberta, Edmonton. He has worked as an actor and university theatre instructor in Tanzania and Canada and as a writer-in-residence for the Edmonton Public Library.

It was not untill Mollel went to study in Canada that he realized the depth of experience related in the stories his grandfather told him. The Orphan boy is one of his best story books, it won the Canadian Governor General's Award in 1990. Mollel has also won the Writers Guild of Alberta's R. Ross Annett Children's Prize for Big Boy in 1995. He was Shortlisted for Ontario's Silver Birch Award for The Flying Tortoise in 1994, and he won the Florida Reading Association Award for Rhinos for Lunch and Elephants for Supper!

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. Kindhearted young Salome helps a crocodile out of a gully and agrees to escort it back to the river. Crocodile, of course, repays her kindness by threatening to eat her. Before doing so, however, Crocodile lets Salome consult other creatures about whether she deserves to be spared. Salome is surprised to find that the tree and the cow bear grudges against little girls. The pigeon proves more useful and helps her trick Crocodile back into the gully. An author's note explains that Mollel set this tale, which actually appears in many cultures, in modern-day Tanzania and includes suggestions for alternative ways of singing Salome's song, presented (with music) following the story. Perrone paints Salome inconsistently--the character never looks quite the same from page to page--but Crocodile is satisfyingly wicked and the landscape vividly colorful. A good choice for creative dramatics. --Susan Dove Lempke

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-A story based on traditional folktale conventions set in modern Tanzania. Salome is a happy, dancing child who frees a crocodile trapped in a gully and guides him back to his river home. The ungrateful beast then grabs her and makes ready to eat her. She reminds him of all she's done for him, but he tells her he needs a better reason to spare her life. After many attempts to convince him of her worth, the brute tells her it was all a game and quips, "Never trust a hungry crocodile." It's at this point that the little girl takes matters into her own hands and, with the help of a sympathetic pigeon, beats the scoundrel at his own game. This satisfying tale of resourcefulness and comeuppance is enlivened by Perrone's vibrant artwork. The action is set against the lush backdrop of the savanna after a rainy season and playful perspectives are used to heighten the drama and humor. The croc comes off as an appropriately menacing, but arrogant bully and Salome is an appealing heroine with quick wits and a sunny spirit. An author's note addresses the origins of the tale, defines the Kiswahili words that appear in the text, and provides a tune for Salome's song.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.