IS MY FRIEND AT HOME? by John Bierhorst
Kirkus Star

IS MY FRIEND AT HOME?

Pueblo Fireside Tales
adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 & up
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This delightful and unusual collection of trickster tales was originally told in the Hopi pueblos of Arizona in the wintertime, “especially after dark when the Sun was traveling under the earth.” Watson’s light-hearted illustrations, many dusted with snow, capture both the moods and the settings of the tales, a world unexpectedly reminiscent of Wind in the Willows, with its cozy animal friendships, intrigues, and small adventures. Framed with traditional beginnings (“Shall I begin? YES”) and endings (“Now that’s the story”), seven short, interconnected stories tell of the friendships between Coyote, Badger, Mouse, Beetle, Mole, Snake, Dove, and Bee. Many are pourquoi stories, but the emphasis is on the animal characters and their relationships. In “Why a Mouse Walks Softly,” for example, Coyote and Beetle, tired of Mouse’s chatter and boasting, decide to “tangle” their friend up with a song that lets her know how noisy she has been. “From then on Mouse walked softly. And she is still doing it.” In “Beetle’s New Life,” Badger and Mole save Beetle—Badger with his medicine and Mole by building up his fire. With their lively dialogue, colorful expressions (“breath of friendship,” “white dawn,” “sound of healing”) and understated humor, these tales will be wonderful to read aloud and to discuss. A detailed note on sources is included. (Picture book folklore. 4+)

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 2001
ISBN: 0-374-33550-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2001




MORE BY JOHN BIERHORST

ChildrenTHE DEETKATOO by John Bierhorst
by John Bierhorst
ChildrenTHE DANCING FOX by John Bierhorst
by John Bierhorst
ChildrenTHE WAY OF THE EARTH by John Bierhorst
by John Bierhorst

MORE BY WENDY WATSON

ChildrenSPUDS by Karen Hesse
by Karen Hesse
ChildrenTHE CATS IN KRASINSKI SQUARE by Karen Hesse
by Karen Hesse
ChildrenFATHER FOX’S CHRISTMAS RHYMES by Clyde Watson
by Clyde Watson

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE CROW'S TALE by Naomi Howarth
by Naomi Howarth
ChildrenRAINBOW CROW / NAGWEYAABI-AANDEG  by David Bouchard
by David Bouchard