When Turtle Grew Feathers: A Tale from the Choctaw Nationby Tim Tingle, Stacey Schuett
Maybe you think you know the story of the big race between Rabbit and Turtle. Think again! In this story from the Choctaw People, Tim Tingle shows that it was not being slow and steady that won Turtle the big race, it was those feathers!!!
PreS - Gr 2 - Variations of the race between the tortoise and the hare crop up regularly, but this version, retold as a trickster tale, stands out for its humor and expressive illustrations. Here, the rabbit only thinks he raced a turtle. In fact, it was a flying turkey wearing Turtle's shell. Also a porquoi tale, the story begins when Turkey steps on Turtle's back, breaking his shell into pieces. Turkey recruits an army of ants to mend it with cornsilk, and the shell transforms from a swirl into its familiar geometric pattern. In appreciation, Turtle allows Turkey to try it on just as Rabbit appears, itching for a race. The rest is history, though few have heard the historic event retold quite like this. The prose alternates between rhyming and nonrhyming text and for the most part it bounces along without stumbling. A few lines feel manipulated to create the rhyme, such as "'What is it?' asked Turtle, his eyes opened wide./'Here comes Rabbit,' said the Little Bitty Five./'Rabbit wants to race, and he won't be denied.'" Bright cartoon illustrations capture the tale's humor and energy. Turkey explodes off the page as he emerges from Turtle's shell, ready to run. The animals' various emotions are well rendered, including Turtle's chagrin, Rabbit's aggression and later humiliation, and the budding friendship between Turtle and Turkey. Use this book as a variation to a common folktale, an introduction to Native American lore, or as a fine read-aloud all on its own.-Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, ORCopyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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