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OLD MESHIKEE AND THE LITTLE CRABS by Michael Spooner

OLD MESHIKEE AND THE LITTLE CRABS

By Michael Spooner (Adaptor) , Lolita Taylor (Adaptor) , John Hart (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-8050-3487-0
Publisher: Henry Holt

 Big Old Meshikee the turtle loves to sit outside, sing, and bang on his drum. But every time he makes music, the noise carries across the pond to the village of the Shagizenz, or little crabs, and drowns out the sound of their own little drums. The Shagizenz decide to put an end to the turtle, once and for all. They capture him, and threaten to burn him and then to boil him alive, but Old Meshikee escapes by suggesting that the crabs dump him into the deep water of the pond to drown him. Those poor little crabs, drumming in celebration of Old Meshikee's demise, hear his drumming join their own. This tale will certainly become a read-aloud favorite, with the satisfying drum sounds written into the text and the colloquial, comfortable voice in which Spooner (A Moon in Your Lunch Box, 1993, etc.) and Taylor tell it. Just as original and fresh are the slightly abstract watercolor and block-print illustrations by newcomer Hart; they'll work better with older children than preschoolers, but there are few who won't enjoy looking at and listening to this retelling of an old Ojibwe story. (Picture book/folklore. 4+)