Rabbit Goes to Kansas

Overview

Come along as Ji-Stu the rabbit and his friend Wildcat follow the North Star for days until they find a giant cottonwood tree. It stands atop a tall hill covered with sunflowers. According to an old story, this hilltop is home to a tribe of mysterious birds with shining red heads and brilliant blue bodies. Ji-Stu has seen two of their feathers, and he is willing to travel as far as he must go to find more!

As they reach the top of Sunflower Hill, Ji-Stu and Wildcat are about to ...

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Overview

Come along as Ji-Stu the rabbit and his friend Wildcat follow the North Star for days until they find a giant cottonwood tree. It stands atop a tall hill covered with sunflowers. According to an old story, this hilltop is home to a tribe of mysterious birds with shining red heads and brilliant blue bodies. Ji-Stu has seen two of their feathers, and he is willing to travel as far as he must go to find more!

As they reach the top of Sunflower Hill, Ji-Stu and Wildcat are about to discover that these red and blue birds have much more to offer than beautiful feathers. They teach Ji-Stu an exciting new game that will make him famous back home in Indian Territory (Oklahoma), while Wildcat's own legend is only just beginning!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Gwynne Spencer
This book is part of a series (not named) telling the adventures of Ji-Stu the Rabbit including How Rabbit Lost His Tail, Rabbit and the Bears, Rabbit Goes Duck Hunting, Rabbit and the Wolves, The Opossum's Tale, and Rabbit Plants the Forest, all Cherokee stories. Rabbit (known as Ji-Stu) wants more of the bright red and blue feathers of a bird that lives far to the north on a hill covered with sunflowers, under an ancient cottonwood tree, on Mount Oread, so off he goes with Wildcat. When they reach their destination, the Jays teach Ji-Stu how to use the bouncy ball that they shoot through a hoop tied to the cottonwood tree. When the game is concluded, they feast on gooseberry tea and sunflower seeds, but Wildcat needs more in his belly, so he goes off to the west to find sustenance. Ji-Stu plays the ball game and feasts with the birds every day until one day Wildcat returns. He takes Ji-Stu west to a new land of rolling hills and flint rock, buffalo, and prairie dogs where Wildcat decides to stay, but he promises to visit the Jays once a year to play their ball game. (Thus the basketball tournament is born?) Ji-Stu returns home to Oklahoma to share the story of the game with the bouncing ball. The illustrations are bright and detailed with animals in varied jewelry and costumes, which the birds do not need because they are suitably adorned with red and blue feathers. Notes by the illustrator give the reader a hint that this is not a traditional tale, although it is laced with Kansas symbols: cottonwood, sunflowers, meadowlark, honeybee, wildcat, and jayhawk. The author calls it "a new mythology" for Kansas. Reviewer: Gwynne Spencer
School Library Journal

K-Gr 4- Jacob explains in an artist's note that he and Duvall are building "a new mythology for Kansas," one that incorporates some of the state's symbols. This quiet tale is about Ji-Stu the Rabbit, who journeys with Wildcat to find a particular type of bird that has red and blue feathers and lives under a cottonwood tree. They play ball with the birds for hours, sip gooseberry tea, and learn about their history. Richly colored and stylized acrylic paintings feature appealing clothed animal characters in landscapes that are both natural and impressionistic. One realistic picture shows sweeping hills with running buffalo, deer, and a soaring hawk, but another, more fanciful illustration depicts a rabbit walking alongside a river as he practices bouncing a ball. In one dramatic scene, a starry sky shows constellations, and in another, deep-blue-winged birds with red heads fly above a field of bright sunflowers. An unusual brown-orange landscape appears on the endpapers, and the images and text stand out cleanly on bright white paper. Duvall's quiet story, when combined with Jacob's arresting artwork, results in an attractive book; however, the text lacks the fluidity of Gayle Ross's exceptional storytelling in How Rabbit Tricked Otter (Parabola, 2003), which Jacob illustrated.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826341815
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah L. Duvall is an author of books and short stories on Cherokee history and tradition, a singer-songwriter, and a professional in financial management. She was born and continues to live in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, capital of the Cherokee Nation.

Murv Jacob, a descendant of Kentucky Cherokees, is an internationally known artist whose illustrations appear in over seventy book and video projects. He won the 2003 Oklahoma Book Award for Design and Illustration for his drawings in The Great Ball Game of the Birds and Animals.

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