From the Publisher
Praise for The First Strawberries...
"Spare text, an uncomplicated story line and gentle illustrations keep this quiet but resonant tale accessible to even the youngest child"--Publishers Weekly
"Quietly luminous watercolors capture details of dress, dwelling, implements, flora, and fauna against an open landscape of rolling hills."--Kirkus Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bruchac ( Keepers of the Earth ; Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back ) once again brings simplicity and lyricism to his interpretation of Native American legend. The Cherokee tale told here explains the origin of various berries and, in the process, presents an unspoken but powerful case for respecting one another and the earth. The first man and woman live in harmony, until one day the man speaks in anger and the woman leaves him, walking so fast he cannot catch her. Regretting his outburst, he appeals to the sun, who agrees to help by slowing the woman's pace--creating in her path raspberries, then blueberries, blackberries and, finally, strawberries, which ``glow like fire in the grass.'' Stopping to taste one, the woman finds that its sweetness ``reminds her of how happy she and her husband had been together,'' and she decides to share the fruit with her husband. Spare text, an uncomplicated story line and gentle illustrations keep this quiet but resonant tale accessible to even the youngest child. Vojtech's soft, luminous watercolors conjure up an unspoiled landscape bathed in sunlight--visual reinforcement of the idea that the earth and its wonders are indeed gifts. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The sun's gift of strawberries brings a husband and wife back together in this Cherokee creation myth. First man and first woman quarrel, and she leaves him. The sun decides to help first man win her back by placing ripened berries in her path. When she reaches the strawberries, the beauty of the fruit is so tempting that first woman slows down to sample them. Thus first man is able to catch up with her and ask for forgiveness. Complemented by Vojtech's luminous watercolors, this is a wonderful tale of friendship and respect.
Children's Literature - Debra Briatico
This captivating Cherokee tale explains the creation of strawberries. The Creator makes a man and woman who marry and live together for a long time. One day they quarrel and the woman leaves the man in anger and haste. Feeling sorry for the husband, the Sun sends raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries in an attempt to stop the woman's retreat. Finally, when the Sun sends strawberries, the woman stops to taste and collect the delicious fruit and her apologetic husband catches up with her. After a pleasant conversation, they reunite and return home. To this day, Cherokee people believe that strawberries are a reminder that "friendship and respect are as sweet as the taste of ripe, red berries." Luminous watercolor illustrations capture the beauty of this timeless read-aloud story.