BO RABBIT SMART FOR TRUE: Folktales from the Gullah by Jaquith Priscilla--Adapt.

BO RABBIT SMART FOR TRUE: Folktales from the Gullah

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Gullah, who were brought from Africa by slave traders in the 1700s and still live in relative isolation on the islands off Georgia and South Carolina, are known for their unique, incomprehensible language. Based on Albert H. Stoddard's recordings and transcriptions, Jaquith's retelling of four Gullah tales is in relatively straight English, but with enough examples of unorthodox usage to convey some flavor and spirit--and enough rhythm and vigor to give the impression of a flesh-and-blood oral narrator. Two of the stories are well known in a number of versions and cultures: In the first, a strutting Bo Rabbit impresses both Elephant and Whale with his strength by having each unwittingly battle the other in a tug-of-war; and in the last of the four, a faithless Rattlesnake turns on the Bear who has released him from under a log, and clever Bo Rabbit cons the snake back into his trap. In the other stories, Bo Rabbit shows Alligator what trouble is by ringing a field with fire; and, in a humble moment, he learns that Partridge is right to hide from enemies though he himself is better equipped to run. However familiar the motifs, all four tales are as fresh and saucy as Bo Rabbit himself; and Ed Young's lively soft-pencil animations, arranged film-strip style down the outside edge of each page, keep pace with the action and faith with the sly apperception.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1981
Publisher: Philomel