Rabbit's Snow Dance

Overview

Rabbit’s Snow Dance
 
Master storytellers Joseph and James Bruchac present a hip and funny take on an Iroquois folktale about the importance of patience, the seasons, and listening to your friends. Pair it with other stories about stubborn animals like Karma Wilson’s Bear Wants More and Verna Aardema’s Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears.
 
Rabbit loves the winter....

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Overview

Rabbit’s Snow Dance
 
Master storytellers Joseph and James Bruchac present a hip and funny take on an Iroquois folktale about the importance of patience, the seasons, and listening to your friends. Pair it with other stories about stubborn animals like Karma Wilson’s Bear Wants More and Verna Aardema’s Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears.
 
Rabbit loves the winter. He knows a dance, using an Iroquois drum and song, to make it snow—even in summertime! When rabbit decides that it should snow early, he starts his dance and the snow begins to fall. The other forest animals are not happy and ask him to stop, but Rabbit doesn’t listen. How much snow is too much, and will Rabbit know when to stop?
 
The father-son duo behind How Chipmunk Got His Stripes, Raccoon’s Last Race, and Turtle’s Race with Beaver present their latest retelling of Native American folklore.
 
 
“The telling is sprightly, and Newman's ink-and-watercolor artwork makes an ideal companion. An appealing addition to folktale shelves.” —Booklist

“This modern retelling maintains [the Bruchacs’] solid reputation for keeping Native American tales fresh.” —School Library Journal

“The picturesque language makes it a pleasure to read aloud.”—BCCB

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The father-and-son storytelling team behind Raccoon’s Last Race and Turtle’s Race with Beaver return with their version of a traditional Iroquois tale. While the Bruchacs reach back hundreds of years for the source of their story, Newman’s influences are comparatively modern—think Mary Blair with a touch of Hanna-Barbera. Set back when Rabbit had a “very long, beautiful tail,” the story follows the selfish, impatient animal’s attempts to conjure a massive midsummer snowstorm (rabbit’s big snowshoe-like feet allow him to hop atop the snow and reach “tasty leaves and buds” more easily). His chanting and drumming do the trick, creating so much snow that it covers the treetops and causes difficulties for the small animals; the summer sun that rises the next day, however, brings about rabbit’s comeuppance and costs him his tail. Rabbit and the other animals don’t always look consistent from page to page, as though Newman couldn’t quite settle on a style, but his paintings are nonetheless a welcome departure from the stodgier artwork that can often accompany myths and folk tales. Ages 3–5. (Nov.)
Horn Book Reviews
A good choice for a preschool read-aloud.
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Praise for Rabbit's Snow Dance

"A welcome departure from the stodgier art-work that can often accompany myths and folk tales."-Publishers Weekly

"A good choice for a preschool read-aloud." -Horn Book Reviews

"The telling is sprightly, and Newman's ink-and-watercolor artwork makes an ideal companion. An appealing addition to folktale shelves." -Booklist

"This modern retelling maintains [the Bruchacs'] solid reputation for keeping Native American tales fresh." -School Library Journal

"The picturesque language makes it a pleasure to read aloud."-BCCB

Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
When the long-tailed Rabbit wants something, he wants it immediately. One summer, tasty leaves high in the trees prove so irresistible to Rabbit that he decides he needs piles of snow to build up to the point he can reach the leaves. Small animals, such as Squirrel and Chipmunk, warn Rabbit that bringing snow in the summer will leave them without food. Beaver's dam is not finished, and Turtle is not ready to sleep. But Rabbit does not listen. He rushes home, grabs his drum and begins singing his winter song, the song that brings snow. Though the snow lasts only a day, the consequences of Rabbit's selfishness are long-lasting. This retelling of a traditional Iroquois tale by father-son duo James and Joseph Bruchac begs to be read aloud and shared at story time. Repeated sentences and sounds invite young listeners to chime in and bring the impatient Rabbit to life. Unusual animals, such as lynx and grouse give teachers an opportunity to discuss different habitats and the story's woodland inhabitants. Jeff Newman's energetic illustrations capture the feeling of animated cartoons of the 1970s and will inspire reenactments of Rabbit's racing, dancing, sleeping, and falling. A fun addition to any personal or library collection, this dramatic tale will capture the imagination of readers of all ages and gently teach lessons about seasons, thoughtfulness, and the importance of being patient. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—One summer, a bratty white rabbit longs to hop on snowbanks to reach high buds and leaves in the trees. He speeds through the forest, chanting the song he uses each winter to bring snow. Despite complaints by Chipmunk, Squirrel, Bear, Turtle, Beaver, and Moose, the frenzied song is soon accompanied by drum as Rabbit dances in a circle, "'EE-OOO!' Thump! Thump! 'EE-OOO!' Thump! Thump! 'Yo, Yo, Yo!'" Snow begins to fall quickly, and Rabbit doesn't stop until only treetops are visible. Exhausted, he takes a nap and continues to sleep even as the summer sun melts the snow. Finally awake, the mischief maker falls from the trees, each branch on the way down shredding clumps of his formerly long tail into pussy willows, leaving him only the tiny pom-pom. And that is how the rabbit's tail becomes a powder puff. The Bruchacs promise that Rabbit still loves the snow but has learned to be patient until winter. This modern retelling maintains their solid reputation for keeping Native American tales fresh. Newman's watercolor, gouache, and ink illustrations are cheery, flourished cartoons in simple compositions.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Kirkus Reviews
A long-tailed rabbit who wants a nibble of the highest, tastiest leaves uses his special snow song in the summertime, despite the protests of the other animals. The Bruchacs' Iroquois pourquoi tale tells how selfish Rabbit, who is short on patience, simply cannot wait for natural snow, no matter that the other forest denizens are not yet ready for winter. Drum in hand, he sings as he dances in a circle: "I will make it snow, AZIKANAPO!" (It won't take much coaching before listeners join in with this and other infectious refrains.) Like the Energizer Bunny, Rabbit just keeps going; by the time he ceases his drumming, only the top of the tallest tree is left sticking above the snow. Exhausted, Rabbit curls up on this branch and sleeps through the night and the hot sunshine of the next day, which melts all the snow. Stepping from his treetop, Rabbit gets a terrible surprise when he falls to the ground, his long bushy tail catching on each branch he passes and making the first pussy willows. And that is why rabbits now have short tails. Newman's watercolor, gouache and ink illustrations are an interesting mix of styles. Some foregrounds appear to be painted in a pointillist manner, and some of the animals are almost manga-esque, lacking any shading in their sharp outlines and flat colors. Kids who are looking forward to a snow day may give Rabbit's chant a try, but hopefully, they will know when to stop. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803732704
  • Publisher: Dial
  • Publication date: 11/8/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 315,278
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 10.14 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Bruchac and James Bruchac are a father-son storytelling pair. They share a deep commitment to the preservation of the Abenaki Indian culture and traditions, which is part of their heritage. Joseph is the award-winning author of more than 120 books for children and adults. James is not only an author, but also a wilderness survival expert. They both live in Greenfield Center, New York.

Jeff Newman is the author and illustrator of many books for kids, including Hippo! No, Rhino; The Boys; and Hand Book. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with his wife and son.

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