PRICKLY ROSE by Shelley Gill


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9
Email this review


“If it weren’t for the Rose girls, what would Alaska be?”

According to this original tall tale, Alaska would be missing many geographic and topographic features if it weren’t for the feats of Sitka and Prickly Rose. “Legend says the Rose girls / towered ten feet tall. / Truth is, Sitka did so; / Prickly not at all.” When Sitka mushes toward Nome, Prickly, as her name suggests, feels left out and declares she won’t be stuck at home. She jumps aboard two orcas and creates a tsunami when she falls off; she rides a “glacier bear”; she yanks the moon and forms tides; she stomps and causes both an earthquake and a volcanic eruption. Just when Prickly’s sour luck runs out, Sitka bursts from the northern lights driving a team of wolverines, and sisterly love erupts. This story follows Gill’s previous picture book, Sitka Rose, illustrated by Shannon Cartwright (2005), checking off expected Alaska attractions (Denali, the Yukon River) and folding in Alaska slang (williwaws, skookum). The rhyming text tends to hamper the flow of the tale, but the wild and woolly story is animated with boisterous illustrations that exaggerate the hijinks. A map in the backmatter pinpoints the locations of the episodes.

Though mostly of regional interest, this could easily be paired with other female tall tales, such as Anne Isaacs and Paul Zelinsky’s Swamp Angel (1994), Jerdine Nolen and Kadir Nelson’s Thunder Rose (2003) and Lynne Bertrand and Kevin Hawkes’ Granite Baby (2005). (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-57091-356-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2014


ChildrenIF I WERE A BIRD by Shelley Gill
by Shelley Gill
ChildrenIF I WERE A WHALE by Shelley Gill
by Shelley Gill
ChildrenGABE by Shelley Gill
by Shelley Gill


ChildrenFIELD-TRIP FIASCO by Julie Danneberg
by Julie Danneberg
ChildrenCAN I BRING SABER TO NEW YORK, MS. MAYOR? by Lois G. Grambling
by Lois G. Grambling


ChildrenHOW RAVEN GOT HIS CROOKED NOSE by Barbara J. Atwater
by Barbara J. Atwater
ChildrenTHUNDER ROSE by Jerdine Nolen
by Jerdine Nolen
ChildrenSWAMP ANGEL by Anne Isaacs
by Anne Isaacs