retold and illustrated by Barbara Knutson
In this book, a Swahili story explains why a guinea fowl has spots. In the beginning, she's a beautiful black without a single spot. She and Cow are great friends, spending time together each day but always watching out for Lion. One day, spotting Lion stalking Cow, the guinea rushes in to save her friend without a thought for her own safety. The next day, she attacks Lion a second time, again saving her friend. In thanksgiving, Cow sprinkles milk over her feathers, giving them lovely spots and allowing her to hide perfectly in shadows and grass.
A small note on the copyright page shows how to pronounce the guinea's name. The illustrations leap off the page and include scratch marks that evoke African art.
We have guinea fowl because they eat ticks and grasshoppers, so we were destined to love this book. Even better, it exemplifies friendship and courage.