The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story

( 5 )

Overview

When Spotted Frog tells of a great flood that is about to destroy their homes, all of the animals ignore his warnings, except Listener the Otter. Ridiculed by the other animals, Listener heeds Spotted Frog’s predictions and begins to build a raft to try and survive the impending disaster. But will his efforts be enough?

This charming children’s book warns us to listen to the wisdom of nature and the environment. Based on a traditional story from the Creek Indians of northern ...

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Overview

When Spotted Frog tells of a great flood that is about to destroy their homes, all of the animals ignore his warnings, except Listener the Otter. Ridiculed by the other animals, Listener heeds Spotted Frog’s predictions and begins to build a raft to try and survive the impending disaster. But will his efforts be enough?

This charming children’s book warns us to listen to the wisdom of nature and the environment. Based on a traditional story from the Creek Indians of northern Florida and Georgia, this book is retold by award-winning author and storyteller Gerald Hausman, and is brought to life by the powerful images of Ramon Shiloh. This universal tale is imbued with Native American wisdom that is even more prescient now, with the conditions of global warming that threaten our world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 10/21/2013
In this Creek flood story, the world is populated by “animal people”; the Noah figure is a river otter, eloquently named Listener, and the flood prophecy—as well as instructions for building a watertight raft, anchored to “the tallest water oak in the woods”—comes in the form of a song from bright-green Spotted Frog. In beautifully direct prose, Hausman evokes Listener’s diligence and the watery cataclysm he survives: “Far below the gloom, fish flew like silent birds through the sunken trees. Alligators and manatees swam through the silence of the deepening flood.” The story’s second half, in which a lonely but patient Listener struggles to find companionship (he is eventually rewarded with both a mate and transformation into a human being) may test some younger readers’ patience, but Shiloh’s (Star Stories for Little Dreamers) illustrations, which have a hand-painted quality, should hold their attention. The pictures are woven into the story and range from folk art–like motifs to strikingly realistic portraiture, creating a sense of a Native American illuminated manuscript. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Joseph Bruchac
Like the best traditional tales, this is a story that both entertains and contains meaningful teachings that can be interpreted on more than one level. It's a celebration of life, of the power of spirit and of the importance of listening to all of Creation--from the greatest voice to the most humble. It is also as beautifully designed and illustrated as it is told with luminous artwork by Ramon Shiloh.
Michael Oren Fitzgerald
“Hausman’s vivid storytelling combines masterfully with Shiloh’s stunning, colorful images to make this cautionary environmental tale compelling and enjoyable. It is highly recommended for families to read aloud.”
Director of Smoke Signals - Chris Eyre
“Ramon is an amazing storyteller and his style of illustration really brings the pages to life.”
Kathy Peltier
“Shiloh’s images of Otter and other animals are so beautifully done and he keeps his illustrations so amazingly simple, you never get distracted from the story.”
School Library Journal
12/01/2013
K-Gr 3—Long ago, only two animal people lived-Listener, a river otter, and Honors Himself, a buffalo chief. One day a spotted frog offers a prophecy: "A great flood is coming. Soon it will cover the land. I sing so you can save yourselves." Honors Himself refuses to believe its words, but Listener urges the frog to tell him more. The frog instructs Listener how to save himself, for no one else would heed the prophecy. When the rains come and cover the land, the only survivors are Listener, the sea creatures, and the birds. After the water recedes, Listener is alone. Spotted frog returns and says he will not be alone for long. Indeed, Listener soon finds a wife who appears to him in the form of a mosquito and then a fish. Finally, the otter's wife is transformed into a two-legged creature, as is Listener, and they become the First Man and his wife. This creation tale hails from the Creek Indians, who traded with Scottish settlers, who obviously told stories from the Old Testament. The blended tale has many versions within the storytelling community and relies on the Creeks' belief of man's rise from the water. Shiloh's ink and colored-pencil illustrations provide bold, yet detailed images of the creatures that inhabit Mother Earth as well as fantastical renderings of a new world that listens to and respects her. This would make a fine addition to a unit on creation myths or Native American tales.—Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937786120
  • Publisher: Wisdom Tales
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Pages: 36
  • Sales rank: 981,516
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD650L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

The author of over 70 books, Gerald Hausman is an award-winning writer, editor, and storyteller on North American, Central European, and West Indian folktales. His many books focus particularly on Native American themes and animal mythology. Hausman’s work has earned him many honors and awards, and he has also appeared on various television and radio programs. During his thirty-five years as a storyteller, Gerald has entertained children of all ages at such places as the Kennedy Center, Harvard University, St John’s College and in schools from one end of the country to the other. Five audio books have come out in recent years and two of Gerald’s books have been made into animated and folkloric films. His books have also been translated into a dozen foreign languages and include Turtle Island Alphabet: A Lexicon of Native American Culture and The Image Taker: The Selected Stories and Photographs of Edward S. Curtis. He lives in Tesuque, New Mexico.

Ramon Shiloh is an author, illustrator, and public speaker. Born in Northern California, he was highly influenced by his mother, June Le Grand, a broadcaster and Native storyteller. As an advocate of minority issues, he has been active in support of arts programs related to minorities. His contributions to Native youth projects include serving as a mentor for the “Young Native Voices Theater Education Project” in Los Angeles. He has also worked with Rosa Parks and was honored with a certificate of appreciation as a facilitator and storyteller for the Underground Railroad Research Program: A Trail of Tears in 2000. He also wrote and illustrated the educational book Guidance through an Illustrative Alphabet. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 24, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Formatting: The formatting in this e-book was way off. Pictures

    Formatting: The formatting in this e-book was way off. Pictures were broken across lines, there were random spaces in the middle of words, words were broken across lines and chapter headings said "AY" and then the chapter number instead of "Chapter" and the chapter number.

    Content: This story was Interesting. I liked how, at the end, the author explained the different versions of the story as it came from different tribes in different areas of the country.

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  • Posted January 16, 2014

    We received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review





    We received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.




    I liked the meaning behind the story. I am a big fan of Native American told stories as they always have meaning. With this particular story it also reminded me of parts in the Bible when God flooded the Earth. 
    I would have loved the pictures a bit more, but it seemed some pictures were blacked out. That is why I am giving this a 4 star rating. I liked how it brought Nature into the mix and how we should respect it. Not only that we should listen to what we are being told because some things are for the better. 




    K liked the book, but he didn't seem to into it like I thought he would be. Especially with the mosquito biting the Ottor. He didn't really understand the end fully. The buffalo K thought was pretty mean as he kept throwing the Spotted Frog into the fire,it wasn't very nice. 

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  • Posted November 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I love Indian stories that offer such profound insight and have

    I love Indian stories that offer such profound insight and have been passed down from generation to generation. I believe they are great story tellers and that is why I am thrilled to share with you the children's book, The Otter, The Spotted Frog and The Great Flood by Gerald Hausman. This is a beautiful hardcover book that is breath-takingly illustrated to capture a child's attention and sense of wonder. It shares with the reader the story of a river otter who was known for being a "listener," and a buffalo chief who was known as Honors Himself. One night Honors Himself was sitting by the fire in the village that sat by a great swamp. At night the frogs sang in many voices, but only one of the animal people llistened to them, and that was Listener, the Otter.

    "I hear many frogs," he said one night as he sat by his fire. Honors Himself, who was there too, said, "I do not like frogs."

    Listener left his warm place by the fire and he went into the wet woods. There he found Spotted Frog and brought him back to the fire.

    "This is the one who sings above the others," Listener said.

    "Why do you do that?" Honors Himself asked the little frog.

    "I sing the prophecy," said Spotted Frog.

    He tells them both about a Great Flood that is coming that will cover the land. Spotted Frog sings so that the animals can save themselves. But Honors Himself won't listen to what he must do to survive while Listener does. I won't spoil the ending for you but this is crafted after the Bible story of the great flood of Noah's day, with a twist to keep children entertained.

    I received The Otter, The Spotted Frog and the Great Flood by Gerald Hausman compliments of Wisdom Tales Press for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed are strictly my own. I love the Indian culture because of their love for the land and the things that are in them, such as the plants and animals. There is a beauty to the stories that have been passed down and this one is a Creek Indian story. I absolutely enjoyed this book and think that any child will appreciate the message it contains not only about the Great Flood but more importantly about what it means to be a great listener! I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

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  • Posted October 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Many cultures enjoy their different versions of the flood stor



    Many cultures enjoy their different versions of the flood story. This picture book, by Gerald Hausman, beautifully illustrated by Ramon Shiloh, tells a version known to Creek Indians, and ends with an author’s note that ties our different stories and cultures together. He quotes, “There is no competition in tribal storytelling. Just the message and the ways it can be expressed.” This story carries a wise and simple message, beautifully expressed for parents and children to share.

    The text is simple, lyrical and clear. The names of Listener the Otter, Honors Himself the buffalo chief, and Spotted Frog are immediately filled with meaning and character. And the images draw out those meanings, illustrating the text with bright clear colors, and adding the magic of pattern, shape and contrast.

    Spotted Frog prophesies the coming of the flood. Listener builds a raft. But Honors Himself and the rest of the animals ignore what’s coming to pass. Echoes of the Bible slip in an out, making this a thoroughly enjoyable cross-cultural tale. Mystery and magic dance in the loneliness of Listener as he learns his cleverness was never really his salvation. Instead, listening and heeding offer a chance to save more than himself.

    The Otter, the Spotted Frog and the Great Flood is a beautiful story, simply told, easily read, gorgeously illustrated, and gently deep; perfect for parents and children everywhere.



    Disclosure: I was lucky enough to be offered a free copy to review and enjoy.

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  • Posted October 4, 2013

    Title: The Otter, The Spotted Frog and The Great Flood (A Creek

    Title: The Otter, The Spotted Frog and The Great Flood (A Creek Indian Story)
    Author: Gerald Hausman
    Publisher: World Wisdom Inc/Wisdom Tales
    Published: 10-1-2013
    ISBN-10: 1937786129
    ISBN-13: 978-1-937786-12-0
    Pages: 36
    Genre: Children's Literature
    Tags: Fiction


    Based on a Creek legend this story tells of two animals during the long ago, Listener, the river otter and Honors Himself, a buffao chief. A beautifully told story of a great flood that is coming to cover all the land and how only Listener payed heed to the Spotted Frogs words of warning and prepared and Honor's Himself scoffed at the prophecy and mocked Listened for his preparations. Then the waters came.


    I was expecting a children's story for small children and it is that, but so much more. I love to here the different Nations legends. This is so well written and illustrated that my nieces and nephews adored it never realizing they were learning a bit of history. I will gratefully purchase any and all of these stories to pass to the children of my family.


    It was so well received by my family's younger members that I ordered 2 copies of it the day it became available. One for a gift and one to keep for them to read whenever they visit. In my opinion it makes a fantastic book to read to and read by new readers. Although short it is well worth the cost of the book and will be dearly loved by its readers both young and old.

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