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THE LEGEND OF THE CRANBERRY by Ellin Greene

THE LEGEND OF THE CRANBERRY

A Paleo-Indian Tale

By Ellin Greene (Adaptor) , Brad Sneed (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1993
ISBN: 0-671-75975-2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

 Greene's excellent concluding note links archeological finds--suggesting that Stone Age hunters actually did trap mastodons--with this Delaware Indian legend: ``Yah-qua-whee'' (mastodons) were created to help the People; they supplied meat, hides, and bones that could be used for tent frames, and served as beasts of burden. Later they began to indulge in destructive rampages, troubling the People and also the smaller animals, who asked the Great Spirit for help. Following the Great Spirit's instructions, the People dug pits to trap the huge beasts; in the ensuing battle, the trampled ground becomes a bog where the remaining mastodons perish. After a hungry winter, the bogs were filled with pink blossoms that become blood-red, bitter cranberries--an important new resource for medicine, dye, and food. The early world has a pristine simplicity in Sneed's dynamic watercolors, while the mastodons are seen from dramatic angles that exaggerate their awesome bulk, and the People have an innocent nobility. A handsome book; a fascinating echo of the past. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-10)