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BERRY MAGIC by Teri Sloat Kirkus Star


by Teri Sloat & Betty Huffman & illustrated by Teri Sloat

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-88240-575-6

Sloat collaborates with Huffman, a Yu’pik storyteller, to infuse a traditional “origins” tale with the joy of creating. Hearing the old women of her village grumble that they have only tasteless crowberries for the fall feast’s akutaq—described as “Eskimo ice cream,” though the recipe at the end includes mixing in shredded fish and lard—young Anana carefully fashions three dolls, then sings and dances them to life. Away they bound, to cover the hills with cranberries, blueberries, and salmonberries. Sloat dresses her smiling figures in mixes of furs and brightly patterned garb, and sends them tumbling exuberantly through grassy tundra scenes as wildlife large and small gathers to look on. Despite obtrusively inserted pronunciations for Yu’pik words in the text, young readers will be captivated by the action, and by Anana’s infectious delight. (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)