Brother Wolf

Overview

Wolf is a friend to everyone, even Raccoon, who likes to tease him. Then one day Raccoon goes too far. He covers Wolf's eyes, so that Wolf does not know night from day.

In his misery, Wolf calls out to the birds. Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Oriole, Hummingbird, Goldfinch, Owl, and Wood Duck fly to his aid. Wolf wants to thank them with a gift. But first, he says, he must...

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Overview

Wolf is a friend to everyone, even Raccoon, who likes to tease him. Then one day Raccoon goes too far. He covers Wolf's eyes, so that Wolf does not know night from day.

In his misery, Wolf calls out to the birds. Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Oriole, Hummingbird, Goldfinch, Owl, and Wood Duck fly to his aid. Wolf wants to thank them with a gift. But first, he says, he must find that rascal Raccoon . . .

Harriet Peck Taylor's dignified retelling of this tale from Seneca lore is filled with mischief and fun and "explains" two of nature's mysteries--how the wolf came to be seen as wily and wise, and how the birds became resplendent with color. The artist's breathtaking batiks bring the story vividly to life.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3In this lighthearted pourquoi tale from Seneca lore, petty arguing results in retribution on both sides, but all is quickly forgiven. Wolf, in a bad mood, gets involved in an all-night exchange of insults with Raccoon, who waits until his adversary is asleep to coat his eyes with a plaster of clay and tar. Unable to see in the morning, Wolf howls for help. Birds peck away the patches and Wolf promises them a reward. Then he and his feathered friends find Raccoon sleeping in a hollow log and roll him downhill. The colorless birds' reward is to be painted as brightly as the flowers from dyes of the earthberries, clay, and plants. Raccoon wants to be decorated, too, and Wolf, all differences forgiven, gives him black rings around his tail. The tale, clearly told in simple language, is greatly enhanced by the vivid colors of Taylor's skillful batiks. Strong lines and somewhat primitive shapes create easily recognized species of animals and plants. The characters' expressions vary from pleasant to fierce. Even before the birds' transformation, the world is full of color. The treatment of the sky is particularly effective, changing from a wonderful night purple to an intense early morning yellow or an interior forest green. A long list of secondary sources is included.Sally Margolis, formerly at Deerfield Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
The rippling hues of batik lend color and clarity to a child-friendly adaptation from Seneca folklore. The conflict between Wolf and Raccoon is playful, but sometimes their teasing goes too far. On this occasion, Raccoon plasters mud over the sleeping wolf's eyes, and Wolf wakes thinking he is blind. After having the plaster pecked off by his bird friends, he gets his revenge by rolling Raccoon down a hill in an empty tree trunk. Wolf rewards the birds by painting them beautiful colors.

Any retelling, in a glutted field, must have something to distinguish itself from the pack. Taylor exhibits the necessary originality and winsomeness to do just that, without deviating too far from traditional folk art styles. Anyone who has camped in raccoon country knows the accuracy of the critter's depiction as a prankster; details in the text, such as Raccoon's rolling on his back, show Taylor's knowledge of the animal kingdom and bring honesty to the tale.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374309978
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.73 (w) x 11.24 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Harriet Peck Taylor, a professional artist since 1977, has written and illustrated two other books for children, Coyote Places the Stars and Coyote and the Laughing Butterflies. Her work appears in numerous public and private collections and has been exhibited in galleries throughout the United States. she lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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