Sense Pass King: A Story from Cameroon
Holiday House, 2002 - Juvenile Fiction - 32 pages
Deep in the forest, in the land of seven villages, there lived an extraordinary child. Her brilliance was so dazzling and her gifts so exceptional that the villagers called her Sense Pass King, because she had more sense than even the king. When news of the girl reached the jealous king, he became enraged, and so began a fierce battle between might and wits that would determine the girl's fate and the kingdom's future.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Ma'antah - a prodigiously clever young girl who arouses the jealousy of the king of the land of the seven villages, when she is given the nickname "Sense Pass King" - survives numerous attempts on her life in this revisionist retelling of a traditional Cameroonian tale, eventually becoming an unofficial royal adviser. When a powerful emperor announces that his daughter will be given in marriage to the suitor he deems most worthy, it is Ma'antah's quick thinking and bravery which win her hand for the king. And when the king attempts to take the credit for Ma'antah's actions, his people - disgusted by his cowardice and dishonesty - drive him out and make Sense Pass King queen in his place... I enjoyed this story of a young girl who continually outwits the adults around her, and is eventually given her just reward, and appreciated the fact that Ma'antah becomes a ruler through her own deeds, rather than through marriage. Trina Schart Hyman's artwork is as gorgeous as ever, and immensely appealing. I might have given this four stars, were it not for my reservations about Katrin Tchana's decision to change the hero of this story - told to her by her Cameroonian husband - from a boy to a girl. While completely in sympathy with the idea that we need tales with strong female characters, my instinctive feeling is that established folktales don't need to be "feminized," when there is already a wealth of world folklore featuring heroic girls, or new tales that can be written. Still, despite my folklorist's unease, I did enjoy Sense Pass King, and think young readers will as well.
Review: Sense Pass King: A Story from CameroonUser Review - Pily Gaol - Goodreads
Interest Level: Ages K-4 Reading Level: Ages 4-5 Lexile Reading Level: AD510L Nominated for: Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award (in 2005) Georgia Children's Picture Story Book Award (in 2006 ... Read full review