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A Ring of Tricksters : Animal Tales from America, the West Indies, And Africa Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 540L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Sky Press; First Edition edition (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590473743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590473743
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K Up. Hamilton offers readers and storytellers 11 animal trickster tales from the African diaspora. Most are quite familiar. "Bruh Wolf and Bruh Rabbit Join Together" is a variant of the popular tale about who gets the top or the bottom of the harvested crops. "The Cat and the Rat" takes a new twist when Bruh Wolf is brought in to help them share their find. "Cunnie Anansi Does Some Good" is a different take on name guessing. "Cunnie Rabbit and Spider Make a Match" is a tale about strength that also explains why animals have different colors or spots or stripes. It is the least successful offering as it lacks the humor and familiar touches found in "The Extraordinary Tug-of-War." As in When Birds Could Talk & Bats Could Sing (Scholastic, 1996) and In the Beginning (Harcourt, 1988), Moser's humorous illustrations of the principal characters capture and complement the wily, dazed, and perplexed demeanor of the animals as described by Hamilton. A section of notes helps readers understand the colloquialisms and contractions in the retellings and gives an explanation about the tricksters and the specific geographical location of the diaspora they represent. The format, size, and attractive illustrations make this title a good choice for group sharing.?Marie Wright, University Library, Indianapolis, IN
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 3^-6. Similiar in format and design to Hamilton and Moser's Newbery Honor Book, In the Beginning: Creation Stories from around the World, this is a stunning collection of trickster tales from Africa and the diaspora. Some of these wily, bold creatures like Bruh Rabbit and Anansi will be familiar; others like the Africans' Cunnie Rabbit and Hare will be less well known. Moser's elegant and imaginative watercolors are a revelation. They strike a delicate balance between the characters' animal natures and human traits, often playing off the humor and wit of the narratives. Many of the tales are very funny, like the slapstick opener that finds the wily Bruh Rabby outsmarting the fiddling Bruh Gator. A few, such as "Buzzard and Wren Have a Race," are more restrained and pensive. In language that is simple yet eloquent, innovative yet accessible (especially when read aloud), Hamilton interprets three black vernaculars, including a version of the daunting Gullah. Hamilton's introduction is thoughtful, and the notes that accompany each yarn are fascinating; however, students of folklore might have appreciated the identification of specific sources and archives. This is but a minor flaw in an undeniably handsome and well-written book that showcases two masters at the top of their form. Julie Corsaro

More About the Author

Virginia Esther Hamilton was born, as she said, "on the outer edge of the Great Depression," on March 12, 1934. The youngest of five children of Kenneth James and Etta Belle Perry Hamilton, Virginia grew up amid a large extended family in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The farmlands of southwestern Ohio had been home to her mother's family since the late 1850s, when Virginia's grandfather, Levi Perry, was brought into the state as an infant via the Underground Railroad.

Virginia graduated at the top of her high-school class and received a full scholarship to Antioch College in Yellow Springs. In 1956, she transferred to the Ohio State University in Columbus and majored in literature and creative writing. She moved to New York City in 1958, working as a museum receptionist, cost accountant, and nightclub singer, while she pursued her dream of being a published writer. She studied fiction writing at the New School for Social Research under Hiram Haydn, one of the founders of Atheneum Press.

It was also in New York that Virginia met poet Arnold Adoff. They were married in 1960. Arnold worked as a teacher, and Virginia was able to devote her full attention to writing, at least until daughter Leigh was born in 1963 and son Jaime in 1967. In 1969, Virginia and Arnold built their "dream home" in Yellow Springs, on the last remaining acres of the old Hamilton/Perry family farm, and settled into a life of serious literary work and achievement.

In her lifetime, Virginia wrote and published 41 books in multiple genres that spanned picture books and folktales, mysteries and science fiction, realistic novels and biography. Woven into her books is a deep concern with memory, tradition, and generational legacy, especially as they helped define the lives of African Americans. Virginia described her work as "Liberation Literature." She won every major award in youth literature.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Griffith on May 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book's combination of dialect-inflected writing and playful illustration almost bridges the gap between live-action storytelling and reading. The tales reflect a world where life is a constant string of contests over who can outwit who, but real tricksters can learn to quite enjoy it.
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By Gail Wilkins on November 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was delivered quickly and in great condition. i know my students will love the great common core lesson that we will be using with the book.
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