From Publishers Weekly
Ross and Jacob follow up their How Rabbit Tricked Otter with another authentic retelling of a Cherokee animal tale. When best friends Possum and Turtle tangle with a greedy wolf, the incident ends in the wolf's finish at Possum's hand-although Turtle takes the credit. As he flaunts his triumph, word swiftly travels to the wolf pack. A fleet-footed posse captures Turtle easily and brings him to an execution council; crafty Turtle outwits the wolves by begging them to do anything except throw him into the river. Not quite according to his plan, Turtle lands first on a rock, then bounces into the water. His shell sustains multiple cracks, but he nevertheless limps to safety. Jacob's tapestry-like acrylics, dense with pattern and detail, bring memorable theater to this story-they suggest a world in which everything, even the breezes in the sky, has tangible presence and import. The prose reflects Ross's expertise as a professional storyteller as well as her intimacy with Cherokee culture (a note on the jacket explains that she is a direct descendant of the chief who led the Cherokee Nation on the Trail of Tears). An endnote briefly summarizes Cherokee history. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3?A moral about behavior is linked to this Cherokee pourquoi tale. When Turtle's friend Possum kills a greedy wolf, Turtle not only takes all the credit for the deed, but boasts and flaunts his trophies. The wolves take revenge on him, but they are stupid and quarrelsome, and Turtle tricks them into throwing him into the river instead of a fire. Although he escapes death, he hits a rock and his shell is cracked into pieces. He cleverly sews himself back together, but since then all turtle shells show the joins. Jacob's naive paintings depict animals in Cherokee dress. Stylized sun and moon faces look out of a pointillist sky, and there is an autumnal hue to the landscape. Details like Turtle's wolf-ear spoons and the male body ornaments and fringed belts add authenticity. Patterned borders also use traditional design motifs. The whole has neither the slickness of Paul Goble's artwork nor the softness of Jeffers's; the crowded, somewhat clumsy ensemble evokes a time before "real" time began, a world without air or space, which is still not quite finished. A solid addition to folklore collections.?Patricia (Dooley) Lothrop Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI
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Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.