HOW CHIPMUNK GOT HIS STRIPES by Joseph Bruchac
Kirkus Star

HOW CHIPMUNK GOT HIS STRIPES

A Tale of Bragging and Teasing
Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Noted storyteller Bruchac (Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving, p. 1498, etc.) teams up with his son, James (Native American Games and Stories, not reviewed) to present a pourquoi tale from the East Coast Native American tradition. Bear is undeniably big; he is also a braggart, given to walking through the forest and proclaiming his superiority to all within earshot: “I can do anything! Yes, I can!” When he hears this, little Brown Squirrel challenges Bear to tell the sun not to rise the next day. This Bear does, and when the sun does in fact rise despite his injunction not to, Brown Squirrel unwisely gloats: “Bear is foolish, the sun came up. Bear is silly, the sun came up.” Thanks to trickery, Brown Squirrel escapes with his life, but not before Bear claws the stripes into his back that cause him to change his name to Chipmunk. The Bruchacs translate the orality of the tale to written text beautifully, including dialogue that invites audience participation. Aruego and Dewey’s (Mouse in Love, p. 886, etc.) signature cartoon-like illustrations extend the humor of the text perfectly. One spread shows the faces of all the animals rejoicing in the yellow light of the newly risen sun—all except Bear, whose glower contrasts ominously with Brown Squirrel’s glee. Clever use of perspective emphasizes the difference in size between boastful Bear and his pint-sized trickster opponent. Authors’ notes precede the story, explaining the history of the tale and each teller’s relationship to it. A winner. (Picture book/folktale. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8037-2404-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2000




MORE BY JOSEPH BRUCHAC

ChildrenKILLER OF ENEMIES by Joseph Bruchac
by Joseph Bruchac
ChildrenRABBIT'S SNOW DANCE by James Bruchac
by James Bruchac
ChildrenWOLF MARK by Joseph Bruchac
by Joseph Bruchac

MORE BY JOSE ARUEGO

ChildrenTHE LAST LAUGH by Jose Aruego
by Jose Aruego
ChildrenRACCOON’S LAST RACE by Joseph Bruchac
by Joseph Bruchac
ChildrenDUCK, DUCK, GOOSE! by Karen Beaumont
by Karen Beaumont

MORE BY ARIANE DEWEY

ChildrenTHE LAST LAUGH by Jose Aruego
by Jose Aruego
ChildrenANTARCTIC ANTICS by Judy Sierra
by Judy Sierra
ChildrenAPRIL SHOWERS by George Shannon
by George Shannon

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenWHY THE POSSUM HAS A LARGE GRIN by Johnette Downing
by Johnette Downing
IndieHELLO LITTLE OWL, CHIPPED MUNK by Mary Uihlein
by Mary Uihlein
ChildrenSNEEZE, BIG BEAR, SNEEZE! by Maureen Wright
by Maureen Wright