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May 12 , 2008

How Mr. Cat Fell Out With Mr. Rat and Other Stories


For centuries, stories have been used by one generation to pass on morals, truths and lessons to the next generation. In traditional African villages, in the evening, the elders or older family members gather around in a circle to share stories. The vivid, illustrated stories capture the imagination of children and present a simple message. The simplicity of each story is carefully designed to summarize a truth, maxim or moral in a manner that is easily understood or digested by the eager listening children.

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A well-told story is a powerful communication medium, using imagery to illustrate a lesson or pass on a message. We all remember stories that we heard many years ago – because they captured our imagination, amused and fascinated us. Today, stories are widely used by people in all works of life from conference presenters to spiritual leaders. They offer a great channel of communication and can be used to anchor and effectively pass on a lesson.

This book presents 10 stories from the African forest / context. The stories are rich with local African color and involve animals (typical of the African forest). One of the stories provides an amusing explanation for why certain things are the way they are – for instance – Why Mr. Leopard is spotted. In this story, the reader / listener is cautioned about the use and perils of fire. The feature story, How Mr. Cat Fell Out With Mr. Rat, (after which the book is titled) provides an amusing explanation for why cats and rats do not get along – and cats are always chasing rats. Picking the wrong friend, who has different values and focus, will not result in peace.

The simplicity and narration of the stories will entertain children in particular and readers of all ages! You are sure to learn something new or see something from a different light after reading each story.

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