"The combination of trickster fun, historical truth, and personal storytelling tradition makes this a winner." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"This excellent collection makes a great choice for reading aloud and will appeal to a wide audience. It's also a strong addition for libraries looking for contemporary versions of Bruh Rabbit tales." School Library Journal, Starred
Some of us grew up hearing the tales of Bruh Rabbit and weren't we the fortunate ones. Alice McGill, a professional storyteller and author, has taken her hand to some of the stories that she heard while she was growing up. Her retellings are wonderful. They have just enough dialect to give them the flavor of their southern heritage. And each of the five stories moves at a perfect pace and will entrance young listeners as well as those who are old enough to read. They will love that very crafty Bruh Rabbit who manages to outwit all of his fellow creatures as well as Mr. Man. The scenes are described and while the art is not exactly what one might expect with these tales, it does grow on the reader. At first glace the characters appear to be too static and a bit like those from a Hanna Barbera cartoon, but they are fascinating creations of clay that became the models for the acrylic paintings. I really grew to like that poor Bruh Possum who was taken in by the crafty snake. McGill provides a good introduction and also brief material about each of the stories. She repeats the moral or lesson and ends it the way old time storytellers did, "And that's all to it." Sure as Sunrise is a delightful way to introduce a new generation to these stories that had their roots in the slave society of the South and further back in Africa. 2004, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 5 up.
Gr 1-5-Following an excellent two-page introduction about Bruh Rabbit stories and her experiences with them, McGill presents five entertaining tales. In "Please Don't Fling Me in the Briar Patch," Bruh Rabbit cleverly outwits the animals that want to punish him for stealing their dinner. Next, a good-hearted possum is taken advantage of by a snake. In "How the Critters Got Groceries," Bruh Cooter helps possum catch a meal. Bruh Rabbit returns in the last two selections, first tricking Bruh Fox into taking a beating for him, and then trying to win the hand of Bruh King's daughter. McGill begins and ends each story with a few comments, including where and from whom she first heard it, musings about its moral, and a personal anecdote or two. The text is lengthy, but children will be riveted by the storytelling. Done in acrylic paint on textured paper, the mostly full-page illustrations are filled with vivid colors and details. Tate captures the personality of each of the characters, as well as the humor inherent in these stories. Varying perspectives keep the action moving. This excellent collection makes a great choice for reading aloud and will appeal to a wide audience. It's also a strong addition for libraries looking for contemporary versions of Bruh Rabbit tales.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Veteran talespinner McGill looks back to her North Carolina childhood for five trickster tales, three featuring Bruh Rabbit. Cast in country cadences, they're just right for reading-or for telling. Bruh Rabbit is snagged not by a tar baby, but by his love of music in "Please don't Fling Me in the Briar Patch." He's himself tricked out of "Looking to Get Married" and cleverly convinces gullible Bruh Fox to take his place in "Bruh Rabbit's Mystery Bag." A sample: " 'WHO THAT UP THERE?' somebody on the ground hollered. 'Who that down there?' Bruh Rabbit asked, twitching around in the sack. 'Who that up there saying "WHO THAT?" when I say, 'WHO THAT?' the same voice came back." McGill adds commentary before and after each tale, giving Joel Chandler Harris his due, but no more than that. Tate illustrates with close-up scenes of sculpted-looking animals in rural dress, often viewed from very low angles to create aptly exaggerated perspectives. Most of these are available in other versions, but the reteller has made them new with some delicious twists. (lengthy introduction) (Folktales. 7-11)