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RAVEN by Gerald McDermott


A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest

by Gerald McDermott

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-15-265661-8
Publisher: Harcourt

Hero and mischief-maker Raven is central to Native American myths of the Pacific Northwest, as McDermott explains in a gracefully written note. Here, he's a cunning trickster who brings the marvelous gift of light to the world. Turning himself into a pine needle, Raven is swallowed by the Sky Chief's daughter and reborn as her son. He finds the sun hidden away in a box, resumes the shape of Raven, seizes the sun in his beak, and throws it into the sky. Retelling the tale with elegant simplicity, Caldecott Medalist McDermott illustrates it with handsome mixed-media art. Raven, a bold pattern of red, blue, and green on black, refers directly to the familiar totem pole figure; the landscape is a lovely, understated expanse of watercolor; the stylized sky people, in gentle earth tones, are at once decorative, warmly benevolent, and sculpturally heroic. A splendid setting for an important myth. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-10)