When Bear Stole the Chinook

Overview

In this story from the Siksika (formerly known as the Blackfoot), spring fails to come to the land. A boy discovers the reason--Bear has stolen the chinook. Then the boy and his friends set out in pursuit of Bear. When they locate his den, they encounter problems freeing the chinook from the fierce animal. But thanks to the boy's ingenuity, the group prevails. Full color.
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Overview

In this story from the Siksika (formerly known as the Blackfoot), spring fails to come to the land. A boy discovers the reason--Bear has stolen the chinook. Then the boy and his friends set out in pursuit of Bear. When they locate his den, they encounter problems freeing the chinook from the fierce animal. But thanks to the boy's ingenuity, the group prevails. Full color.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3An eye-catching and accessible version of a traditional tale. One year, the Siksika people worry that the warm chinook wind that helps break winter's hold on the land will never arrive. An orphan boy and his animal friends volunteer to find the great Bear who has stolen it. In a series of efforts familiar to folktale lovers, various creatures try to look in the bear's den to determine whether he indeed has the wind. Finally, Weasel, whose white fur the bear thinks is snow falling, sees the chinook in a buffalo-hide bag in the back of the den. After the boy puts Bear to sleep with smoke from his pipe, Coyote sneaks in and grabs the bag. When Bear is awakened, he chases the intruders, but they escape safely. Now bears must hibernate during cold winters because they cannot steal the chinook again. Taylor's batik illustrations will work well with large groups of children; their bold design features sweeping, wintry landscapes and large, easy-to-see animals, often outlined in white. Distinctive borders that vary on each double-page spread contribute cultural authenticity to the book. The story, which moves briskly to its conclusion, is adapted fairly closely from the title story in Frances Fraser's The Bear Who Stole the Chinook: Tales from the Blackfoot (Douglas & McIntyre, 1990). An author's note provides some background on the Siksika (formerly called the Blackfoot) and the weather that so dominates their winters. A brief bibliography is appended.Ellen Fader, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Kirkus Reviews
As this Siksika (formerly known as Blackfoot) tale has it, when news that Bear has stolen the long-awaited chinook to keep warm, an orphan boy sets out with several animal friends to free it. Taylor (Brother Wolf, 1996) illustrates her brief, easy-reading retelling with accomplished pictorial batiks that, in their stylized forms and carefully detailed tepees, patterns, and articles of dress, recall Paul Goble's art. Aside from some gaps in logic (pipe smoke makes Bear sleepy for some unexplained reason, and, as if bears can't swim, the boy and his helpers make their escape over a stream's thinning ice), this makes a well-knit, handsomely turned out adventure. Explanatory note and source list appended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374305895
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 10/30/1997
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.81 (w) x 11.31 (h) x 0.42 (d)

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