Bouki Dances the Kokioko by Diane Wolkstein
A Comical Tale from Haiti

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Synopsis

Bouki is fat. Bouki is awkward. So why would Malice ask him to dance the complicated Kokioko for the king? Bouki isn’t sure. All he knows is that if he does learn the dance, he can win the king’s money. Seems simple enough. But uh-oh, Bouki should’ve known better than to get involved with greedy Malice. This comical tale introduces readers to Haiti’s famous slapstick characters: the foolish Bouki and the clever Malice. And in the best tradition of the trickster tale, it treats them to something unexpected- a new dance, the hand-clapping, hip-swaying Kokioko.
 

About Diane Wolkstein

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Diane Wolkstein has been teaching, performing, and writing for over thirty-five years. She is the author of numerous award-winning books of folklore, including The Magic Orange Tree, and Other Haitian Folktales and Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. Known for her meticulous research as well as her great range as a performer, Ms. Wolkstein traveled to Australia three times while preparing this story. She gives workshops on storytelling worldwide and lives in New York City. In Her Own Words... "I love stories. They give me strength, Inspiration, courage, and great delight. For thirty years I've told stories at the statue of Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park. I love watching the eyes of my audience light up as they enter stories. Stories let us explore the farthest places in the universe and the deepest recesses of the human heart. They present possibilities. They let us try out different emotions and characters. Stories are treasures which last forever. "I also enjoy gardening, dancing, swimming, painting, and creating stories with music. My daughter, Rachel Zucker, is a poet, photographer, and the mother of a little boy named Moses."
 
Published October 1, 1997 by Harcourt. 32 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Bouki Dances the Kokioko

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Bouki knows better than to trust Malice but is drawn into the deception because he has ``many little Boukis to feed.'' Bouki wins the gourdes, but flushed with victory, he allows Malice to lead him in another dance during which Madame Malice sneaks off with the winnings.

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Publishers Weekly

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The players in this breezy trickster tale are Malice, the duplicitous gardener to the king of Haiti, and a tubby dupe named Bouki.

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