THE SNAKE'S TALES by Margherite W. Davol


Age Range: 5 - 9
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This original tale was suggested by The Storytelling Stone, a traditional Seneca tale, and explains how stories began. In the time before people told stories, Papa tended goats and played the flute while Mama cooked and cared for two children and wove tapestries. One day she sends the boy to pick strawberries; when his pail is full he sits down on a flat rock where a snake lies coiled. The snake offers stories in exchange for the berries, weaving his tales of how the stars were once bees and why monkeys live in trees. Arriving home with an empty pail, the boy tells his mother a snake ate them. Next, the girl is sent to pick raspberries and the same thing happens. No berries for dinner. When Mama sends them both to pick apples, the snake tells more tales and swallows half the apples. When Papa tells about seeing a strange lumpy snake, the children laugh and retell all of the snake's stories. The pages are filled with Heo's (Sometimes I'm Bombaloo, p. 53, etc.) familiar stylized illustrations of pencil and oil, with swirls, circular patterns of images, and dome-shaped trees. The folksiness of the artwork matches the charming story. The double spread with the large, red snake with many lumps will have kids giggling. Ripe for a storyteller's voice. (Picture book. 5-9)

ISBN: 0-439-31769-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Orchard