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Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest Paperback – September 1, 2001


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Frequently Bought Together

Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest + Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest + Zomo the Rabbit: A Trickster Tale from West Africa
Price for all three: $18.90

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152024492
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152024499
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 11 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a starred review, PW called McDermott's retelling of a Native American tale describing the birth of the sun "crisply elegant. McDermott adds to the folktale bookshelf a work in the grand tradition." Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1 Up-- All the world is in darkness at the beginning of this traditional tale from the Indian cultures of the Pacific Northwest. Raven feels sorry for the people living in the gloomy cold, so he flies to the house of the Sky Chief in search of light and warmth. To get inside, Raven pulls a shape-shifting trick that allows him to be born to the god's daughter. As a spoiled and comic infant, Raven demands and gets the shiny ball that the gods have hidden away. The art and text capture the spirit of the Native American trickster hero; benevolent, clever, magical, unscrupulous, and ultimately triumphant, Raven acts out human virtues and foibles on a cosmic scale. The mixed-media illustrations contrast the foggy cold of the Northwest Coast with the cozy interior of a native plank house. Traditional dress, furnishings, and house construction are clearly depicted, as are the tender and indulgent emotions of the Sky Chief and his family. As Raven shape-shifts through the story, visual and verbal clues let children see that his essential nature remains intact. The book invites comparisons with other trickster heroes like Africa's Anansi and the Native American Coyote, as well as with stories of fire bringers like Prometheus. The physical environment, oral literature, and traditional life of the Pacific Coast Indians come alive in this amusing and well-conceived picture book. --Carolyn Polese, Gateway Community School, Arcata, CA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

And the illustrations are so beautiful.
C. Lewis
The story is truly a great tale of native North American mythology.
Dr CJ
This is a story I grew up with and remember fondly.
Meg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jenifer Kellystrauss on January 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The children in my Pre-K class cannot get enough of this book. The magic of the illustrations and the text has them mesmerized. Many times, when we have finished reading the story, they want to here it again!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book on a whim for my daughter, as I am a
great fan of Native American mythology and beliefs. I
got it after a short wait, and looked through it.

The artwork is simply amazing; beatiful, detailed pictures
accompany each portion of the story.. Even the surprised
looks on the faces of people as Raven plays his trickster
games is done magnificently!

The story itself is well written. It's the basic and ancient
legend of how Raven stole the sun, but done very well, in
language that even young kids can understand. It's a fun
story to read, too, since you can make the book come alive
by adding a few of your own choice sound effects, and just
watch the look on your son or daughter's face...

But, best of all, children love it. When I first read it to
my four-year-old, her eyes lit up, she became completely
drawn into the story, and laughed and giggled as Raven did
his thing. She even demanded that I read it over again - a
rarity for my daughter, since she has a huge library of her
own now!

I'll buy anything else I can find from this author. He won
a Caldecott for this book, and small wonder; his work is
absolutely magnificent, and I recommend getting it in
hardcover because you'll wear the covers off a softcover
version! Enjoy it!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I get antsy when Native American themes and stories appear in children's books. Too often they reek of cultural misappropriation.
But this beautiful book--gorgeous watercolor backgrounds to the Northwest Native American-style imagery--feels respectful, and does a great telling of a favorite Tlingit Haida tale of how light came into the world.
The illustration of the morphing of the Sky Chief's spoiled grandson back into Raven is particularly effective.And when Raven fills the sky with the sun in his beak, it's very easy to buy into this story as a valid creation myth.
I've now bought three copies of this book for various pre-schoolers I know, and all my grown-up friensd who've seen this book have fallen in love with it, too. This is a definite winner, bound to become as classic in its own way as Robert McCloskey's ``Blueberries for Sal.''
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ike on November 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up for my girls mostly to satisfy myself. I had taken a Native American lit class in College, and I thought I'd get more out of the book than the girls. Boy, was I wrong. This is consistently one of the most requested books at story time. I think the author and illustrator created a wonderful book that kids of all ages can find something they love!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CG2009 on November 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My students really liked this book. I teach first grade. It was great talking about indians and tolerance. There is a huge range of things to talk about with this book. Like do birds talk?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Lewis on January 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
It is a ritual in our household every winter solstice to read this story to our children. I love this telling of how Raven stole the sun and gave it to the people of earth. And the illustrations are so beautiful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By preschoolteacher on June 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
A classic Native American tale with brightly colored pictures.I have searched for this book for several years to replace an old worn copy.
I was very excited to find it through Amazon.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 1998
Format: Hardcover
An enjoyable book for parents and children alike. Love the illustrations. Saw an episode of "Northern Exposure" on TV once portraying the theme, and loved it then too. The story has interesting correlations with Christian doctrine where Christ is the "enlightener". I am always fascinated by the number of different cultures from all over the world that have a similar story handed down from centuries past.
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