The Rabbit's Tail: A Story from Korea

Overview


Everyone knows that rabbits have short, fluffy tails. But this wasn't always the case. In this captivating version of a Korean folktale, a tiger tells a rabbit the story of how he narrowly escaped being eaten by an evil creature. Amazed that anything could scare a tiger, the curious rabbit dashes off to see the creature. The tiger warns him not to go, but the rabbit doesn't listen and gets himself in a spot of trouble that changes all rabbits forever.

Illustrated with dramatic ...

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Overview


Everyone knows that rabbits have short, fluffy tails. But this wasn't always the case. In this captivating version of a Korean folktale, a tiger tells a rabbit the story of how he narrowly escaped being eaten by an evil creature. Amazed that anything could scare a tiger, the curious rabbit dashes off to see the creature. The tiger warns him not to go, but the rabbit doesn't listen and gets himself in a spot of trouble that changes all rabbits forever.

Illustrated with dramatic detail and vibrant hues, The Rabbit's Tail will transport young readers to a time deep in Korea's folktale tradition.

Tiger is afraid of being eaten by a fearsome dried persimmon, but when Rabbit tries to convince him he is wrong, Rabbit loses his long tail.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jeanne K. Pettenati
The story is an interesting one and there is a lesson to be learned in this Korean folk tale, but the text does not flow as well as it could. In addition, the illustrations are not appropriate for the picture book set. The very dark and eerie pictures send the fright level over the top. There are no redeeming characters in the story. The tiger is arrogant and the rabbit foolish, and the only other character is a thief. An author's note at the beginning of the book explains the origin of this folk tale and the symbolism of the tiger and the rabbit in Korean culture.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Inside a house on the edge of a village, a mother playfully tries to quiet her crying baby with a threat: "the tiger will get you." Meanwhile, a hungry tiger lurks outside. When the child finally stops crying with the offer of a dried persimmon, the tiger, who can only hear the exchange, assumes she has called on a creature scarier than he is. Terrified, he slinks into an outlying stall. Mistaking the tiger for an ox, a thief slips a rope around his neck and mounts him. The tiger in turn believes his rider is the dreadful dried persimmon. After a wild ride, the thief escapes. When the tiger tries to explain his adventure to a rabbit, the rabbit searches for the thief and loses his long tail. A source note explains that the picture book is adapted from a story in Han's Korean Folk and Fairy Tales (Hollym, 1992; o.p.) and describes other versions. Readers familiar with the author's The Rabbit's Judgment and The Rabbit's Escape (both Holt, 1995), both illustrated by Yumi Heo, will find this new title a departure. Heo's playful surrealism has been replaced by Wehrman's showy, realistic paintings in acrylic gouache. While the tale is vividly retold, the illustrations seem heavy-handed and literal. Unlike its predecessors, this rabbit tale is printed in English only. An amusing entertainment about misperceptions, not particularly well served by its illustrations, but nevertheless useful where Korean stories are needed.-Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams
Kirkus Reviews
An uproarious tangled tale from Han (The Rabbit's Judgment, 1994, etc.) that works, because it retains the natural and spontaneous inventiveness of its folk origins.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805045802
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.28 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author


Suzanne Crowder Han has retold two other Korean folktales: The Rabbit's Judgment and The Rabbit's Escape, both illustrated by Yumi Heo. Ms. Han lives in Seoul, Korea.

Richard Wehrman lives in East Bloomfield, New York. A commercial illustrator for many years, Mr. Wehrman makes this his picture-book debut.

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