Dancing Fox: Arctic Folktales

Overview

From perilous Arctic journeys to strange giants in frozen snowfields, this collection of stories reveals fresh insights into universal themes, in language faithful to the oral tradition. Illustrations by a contemporary Inuit artist round out this impeccably researched volume.

A description of Inuit culture accompanies a collection of eighteen Inuit folktales from an ancient oral tradition in which animals could take human form and ...

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Illustrated by Mary K Okheena 1997 Hardcover First Edition New in New dust jacket 0688144063. Hardcover book and dust jacket are new. Small remainder mark.

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Overview

From perilous Arctic journeys to strange giants in frozen snowfields, this collection of stories reveals fresh insights into universal themes, in language faithful to the oral tradition. Illustrations by a contemporary Inuit artist round out this impeccably researched volume.

A description of Inuit culture accompanies a collection of eighteen Inuit folktales from an ancient oral tradition in which animals could take human form and in which magic usually had a part.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Bierhorst tells us in his introduction that these are "minutely edited" tales, and not retold ones. Drawn from the lore of the Inuit people of Alaska, northern Canada, and Greenland and enhanced by the fascinating introductory material, these stories are the stuff of magic. But they are equally, as Bierhorst points out, about little girls who regret hasty wishes, and of resourceful women and yearning souls-they provide, through the window of an old tradition, insights into the everyday themes of human experience. Okheena's black and white illustrations are sharp and vivid, at once whimsical and dramatic.
School Library Journal
Gr 4 UpA compilation of folktales from Inuit (Eskimo) people in Greenland, Canada, and Alaska. The three geographical groups share 5 out of the 18 stories included. "The Blind Boy and the Loon" is probably the most familiar of the selections. In general, the short vignettes are told in an unadorned, straightforward style, much like one would hear from an Inuit storyteller in person. "Cannibal Village," in which two brothers escape from their sisters-in-law who are bent on making a meal of them, is not for the fainthearted, but then neither are many of the Grimms' tales. The title story, "The Dancing Fox," is reminiscent of "Puss in Boots," although the fox is not as endearing. The black-and-white drawings, one per story, lend authenticity. Helen Caswell's Shadows from the Singing House (Charles Tuttle, 1968; o.p.) and Ramona Maher's The Blind Boy and the Loon (John Day, 1969; o.p.) are good collections of Inuit tales, but neither one is as well documented as The Dancing Fox. School and public libraries would do well to purchase it.Mollie Bynum, formerly at Chester Valley Elementary School, Anchorage, AK
Kirkus Reviews
A scholarly collection of traditional stories from the Inuit cultures of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, expertly edited by Bierhorst (The Way of the Earth, 1994, etc.), who includes an extensive introduction to the Inuit, as well as thoroughly annotated notes on each story and a listing of references. Taken one at a time, especially in the context of a unit on the Inuit, the stories have the inherent interest of genuine artifacts; as a resource for booktalking and for classroom use, this volume is authentic and invaluable. Few children will want to read it cover to cover on their own; the stories, if diverting, are unembellished, and readers raised on the tidy endings of European folktales and the pithy morals of Aesop may find these selections brusque.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688144067
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Pages: 142
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.28 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

John Bierhorst, author of many acclaimed works about Native American cultures, lives in West Shokan, New York.Z

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