Nine Animals and the Well :: 2003
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From the flap of the book: Who hasn’t gone to a birthday party and felt the pride of thinking of just the right gift, only to find out that someone else has thought of a better one? Who hasn’t had to learn the hard way that the greatest gift of all is friendship? This is the lesson the nine animals are about to learn as they make their way to the palace to celebrate the raja-king’s birthday.
Why nine animals? And why the well? Because [the author’s] original fable is also a counting book, where we learn that our ten Arabic numerals came not from Arabia, as one might think, but from India.
With its pictures of paper collage reminiscent of the glorious designs on the walls of the Taj Mahal, Nine Animals and the Well will teach, amuse, and delight.