Rupa Raises the Sun

Rupa Raises the Sun

by Marsha Wilson Chall, Rosanne Litzinger, Dorling Kindersley Publishing Staff
     
 
For twenty-one thousand nine hundred and fifty-four mornings, old Rupa has roused herself from bed to tromp around her cookfire in the dark and bring on the dawn. So when she develops a blister and asks the elders for some time off, they are naturally flummoxed. Who else in the village but Rupa can get the rooster crowing, the goats giving milk? Tryouts are held, but

Overview

For twenty-one thousand nine hundred and fifty-four mornings, old Rupa has roused herself from bed to tromp around her cookfire in the dark and bring on the dawn. So when she develops a blister and asks the elders for some time off, they are naturally flummoxed. Who else in the village but Rupa can get the rooster crowing, the goats giving milk? Tryouts are held, but neither the blacksmith, nor the farmer, nor the baker can make a dent in the darkness. No, only Rupa, it seems, has the knack. But there is still her blister to contend with.... So where on earth does she find a helper? Perhaps nowhere on earth. Both sly and silly, Rupa will be recognizable to any child who understands the power game.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rupa, the long-suffering protagonist of this humorous poke at Old World folk tales, has initiated 21,954 sunups and needs a break. Her pre-dawn trips around the "cookfire" bring on the sunrise, and after so many repeat performances she has an oozing blister on her toe. For advice, Rupa visits the three turbaned village wise men, who decide to hold "sun-raising tryouts" to find a suitable stand-in: Can the blacksmith do it, or the goat farmer or baker? In spreads of bulbous-nosed, cartoonish characters with the text set unobtrusively in the upper regions of swirling color backdrops, Chall (Up North at the Cabin) and Litzinger (The Someday House) have come up with a quirky, warmhearted work for sophisticated readers. When weary Rupa takes center stage to rest her bare, swollen foot on the breakfast table where the elders confer--with coffee spilling and eyeballs rolling--readers will share the wise men's consternation. Chall maintains a wry tone, as when the farmer urges his goats to give milk, which he hopes will in turn bring on the dawn: "Isabella, if you please. But she didn't. Hortense couldn't. Camilla wouldn't. No sun, no milk." The elders' superstitious suggestion that Rupa walk around her cookfire backward to keep the sun from setting will have readers chuckling, as will Litzinger's drawing of the many stages of Rupa's dutiful orbit around the flames. While some children may find the tale confusing, its message will resonate with adults: the world goes 'round, with or without them. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Cheryl Peterson
Every dark morning, old Rupa gets up and starts her cookfire, and when she does, the sun rises. Everyone in the village, including Rupa, believes that if she didn't get up, the sun wouldn't either. But Rupa is tired, she has a blister on her foot from tromping around the cook fire, and she wants a day off. What would happen if Rupa took a vacation? The amusing consequences of her day off are accompanied by beautiful full-page paintings.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Every morning the pattern is the same: Rupa walks around her cookfire, the sun rises, her rooster crows, and the day begins. This routine works until she develops a blister and requests that the village elders find a substitute to perform her job. When sun-raising tryouts are unsuccessful, the elders suggest that Rupa keep the sun from setting, thus making it unnecessary for anyone to raise it. When that plan fails, the woman receives permission to sleep late one morning. Miraculously, the sun rises on its own and the thankful woman never again gets up before dawn. The double-page gouache illustrations complement the droll humor and folkloric tone of the story. In the deceptively simple drawings, Rupa and the villagers all display prominent noses and a wide range of facial expressions. The clear, bright colors and large type will appeal to beginning readers. However, Rupa's unquestioning acceptance of the sun's rising without her appears to make her life's work pointless and brings a less than satisfying conclusion to a promising beginning. A more coherent tale with a similar theme is Pam Conrad's The Rooster's Gift (HarperCollins, 1996).-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
A tale with more atmosphere than purpose, about mistaking post hoc events for genuine cause and effect. Morning after morning, in the dark and cold, while the baker and blacksmith are still asleep, Rupa gets up to stomp around her fire and make the sun rise. One morning, "with a great blister on her foot and greater frost on her mustache," she feels the weight of her burden and shuffles off to the village elders to ask for a respite from her duty. They decide to hold tryouts for a stand-in, but neither smithy, nor baker, nor farmer can do the job, and Rupa must call the sun forth once more. After the elders ask Rupa to walk backwards around the fire to keep the sun in its heaven until she is betterþit doesn't workþthey agree she can take a few days off: "The sun won't rise on time, but we could all use the extra rest." The next day, as Rupa snoozes, the sun rises in the east. Everyone is pleased. Litzinger's fine and funny paintings show another time, but the labor complaints Rupa takes to management seem to fit this century. Readers may chortle over their inside knowledge of sunrises and sunsets; they also may be puzzled by the point of the story: Rupa, hitherto so responsible and so valued by the village, looks like a useless old fool, the butt of a bad joke. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780789424969
Publisher:
DK Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/1998
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.68(w) x 11.14(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
510L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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