What's the Hurry, Fox?: And Other Animal Stories

Overview

Acclaimed anthropologist, folklorist, and novelist Zora Neale Hurston traveled the back roads of the rural South, collecting stories from men, women, and children in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana so that the spirit and richness of the oral storytelling tradition could be shared and preserved. What's the Hurry, Fox? is a sampling of stories from Every Tongue Got To Confess, Ms. Hurston's third volume of folktales collected from the Gulf statesin the 1930s. They have been carefully adapted and shaped by ...

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Overview

Acclaimed anthropologist, folklorist, and novelist Zora Neale Hurston traveled the back roads of the rural South, collecting stories from men, women, and children in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana so that the spirit and richness of the oral storytelling tradition could be shared and preserved. What's the Hurry, Fox? is a sampling of stories from Every Tongue Got To Confess, Ms. Hurston's third volume of folktales collected from the Gulf statesin the 1930s. They have been carefully adapted and shaped by National Book — and Coretta Scott King Award–winning author Joyce Carol Thomas to appeal to the sensibilities of young readers. Caldecott Honor — and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Bryan Collier adds his unique vision with collages that capture the rich heritage and rural community setting of the stories that are Ms. Hurston's legacy to us.

Presents a volume of pourquoi tales collected by Zora Neale Hurston from her field research in the Gulf states in the 1920s.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Joyce Carol Thomas adapts a raft of folklore originally collected by Zora Neale Hurston in What's the Hurry, Fox? And Other Animal Stories, illus. by Brian Collier. The pourquoi tales told to Hurston by native Southerners (and compiled in Hurston's Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro Folk-tales from the Gulf States) explain such mysteries as "Why Donkey Has Long Ears" or "Why the Waves Have Whitecaps." The folksy voice of a storyteller pervades each tale and will draw in young readers; Collier's full-bleed collages and watercolors are every bit as satisfying, as he endows humans and animals alike with distinctive character. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-These animal pourquoi stories have been selected from Zora Neale Hurston's collection, Every Tongue Got to Confess. In her adaptations of the nine short tales (there are two versions of one of the stories), Thomas stays very close to the original text, making only minor word changes. Surprisingly, the selections never quite engage readers. With the exception of the Aesop-like "What's the Hurry, Fox?" and "Why the Waves Have Whitecaps," they come across as rather lackluster, and leave their audience with a sense that there must be more to the story. Even with Collier's wonderful double-page collage-and-watercolor illustrations, which invite closer inspection, this work will have limited appeal.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Thomas polishes up nine anecdotes and pourquoi tales collected by Hurston, but only recently rediscovered (along with hundreds more) and published in a collection for adults. Originally transcribed in dialect, their regional flavor has been toned down, but not completely erased: when Porpoise outraces the Sun, for instance, God says, "Aw, no, this ain't gonna do!" and fixes Porpoise's tail "on crossways." Sandwiched between not-quite-identical versions of "Why the Buzzard Has No Home," these short tales of rivalry ("Why the Dog Hates the Cat"), friendship ("Why Frog Got Eyes and Mole Got Tail"), and troubles explained ("Why Flies Get the First Taste") will appeal to readers and tellers alike for their simplicity, humor, and action. To all of this, Collier adds an unexpected, but not overdone, layer of visual complexity with painted collages in which easily recognizable animals and background features, abstract forms, and swirls of color coexist. Younger audiences might not know Hurston as a folklorist; here's help for that, in an inviting mix of new tales and familiar ones made fresh. (source notes) (Folk tales. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060006433
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/13/2004
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) was a novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist whose fictional and factual accounts of black heritage remain unparalleled. Her many books include Dust Tracks on a Road; Their Eyes Were Watching God; Jonah's Gourd Vine; Moses, Man of the Mountain; Mules and Men; and Every Tongue Got to Confess.

Bryan Collier is the illustrator of rosa by Nikki Giovanni and Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, both Caldecott Honor Books, and the Coretta Scott King Honor Book Visiting Langston by Willie Perdomo. He also wrote and illustrated the Coretta Scott King Award-winning Uptown. Besides illustrating children's books, Bryan donates his time to painting murals in his Harlem, New York, neighborhood.

Joyce Carol Thomas is an internationally renowned author who received the National Book Award for her first novel, Marked By Fire, and a Coretta Scott King Honor for The Blacker the Berry and for her first picture book, Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea. Her picture book I Have Heard of a Land received a Coretta Scott King Honor and an IRA/CBC Teachers' Choice Award and was an ALA Notable Book. Her other titles include The Gospel Cinderella, Crowning Glory, Gingerbread Days, and A Gathering of Flowers. Ms. Thomas lives in Berkeley, California.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      January 7, 1891
    2. Place of Birth:
      Eatonville, Florida
    1. Date of Death:
      January 28, 1960
    2. Place of Death:
      Fort Pierce, Florida
    1. Education:
      B.A., Barnard College, 1928 (the school's first black graduate). Went on to study anthropology at Columbia University.

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