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DON'T SPLIT THE POLE by Eleanora E. Tate


Tales of Down Home Folk Wisdom

by Eleanora E. Tate & illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright & Ying-Hwa Hu

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-385-32302-6
Publisher: Delacorte

 Tate (Front Porch Stories at the One Room School, 1992, etc.) celebrates African-American storytelling and small-town life in a collection of seven funny, folksy tales spun around proverbs, e.g., ``Big Things Come in Small Packages,'' and ``Slow and Steady Wins the Race.'' Exaggerated characters--ranging from a fish-finding basset hound and Bron Kitis, the Hand Fish King of Nutbrush County, Missouri, to Taneshia and Sudsey in their high-flying search for a boyfriend--have a folkloric, larger-than-life appeal. These misadventures leapfrog from setting to setting, voice to voice, zig-zagging their way through timeless homespun truisms and zany situational comedies; from a comic cautionary tale to a preposterous precept, the balance is topsy-turvy as Tate switches from human to animal story, and skit to spoof, in modernizing each proverb. The result is not seamless when read in one sitting, but the author maintains a storyteller's pace and penchant for exaggeration until the tales humorously blur the lines between what is fable and what is true. (b&w illustrations, notes, not seen) (Short stories. 8-12)