Trickster and the Fainting Birds

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9780756764197: Trickster and the Fainting Birds
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With spare grace & lively wit, acclaimed author Howard Norman offers readers seven Algonquian stories of the outrageous antics of the singular maverick called Trickster. When Trickster sets out walking, mischief is never far behind. Whether he is cheating in a sleepwalking contest, teaching the shut-eye dance to ducks, or halting a wedding by transforming the groom into a kingfisher bird, Trickster sets the world askew. Tom Pohrt's richly detailed paintings invite us to follow where Trickster leads -- across frozen lakes & thawing marshes, into ash storms & lightning-singed tree stumps, on a journey that carries us from trouble, to laughter, & finally, to wisdom. Covers Cree & Ojibwa Indians. Story notes. Juvenile audiences.

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About the Author:

HOWARD NORMAN is a three-time winner of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and a winner of the Lannan Award for fiction. His novels The Northern Lights and The Bird Artist were both nominated for National Book Awards. He is also author of the novels The Museum Guard, The Haunting of L, What Is Left the Daughter, and Next Life Might Be Kinder. He divides his time between East Calais, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.

From Library Journal:

Grade 1 Up-Norman has gathered these seven Algonquian tales from Native storytellers in Manitoba, Canada, and rewritten them in the language of the storyteller, including the asides and animal voices that are an integral part of the oral tradition. Background and source notes are included. The Algonquian trickster usually takes the form of a man, but he has magical powers that he uses in several of the stories to change himself into animal form. His expert lying skills help him to outsmart other animals in order to catch them for dinner. He boasts that he can beat others at their own strengths (the stamina of the wolverine, the duck-catching skills of the fox, the loneliness of the hermit), and he thinks nothing of stealing or boldly demanding food from others. Each story teaches a lesson in humanity: kindness toward others, sharing with those less fortunate, helping someone in trouble, being truthful and honest. There is a subtlety to the humor of these selections and their morals that is not found in the hilarious adventures of the conniving B'rer Rabbit or the tales of lazy, often-outsmarted Anansi. Pohrt's watercolors, finely detailed in pen and ink, are painted in the colors of fall-teal, muted gray-green, bittersweet and warm shades of brown. Illustrations vary from full page to small vignette and two-page panoramic strip-all nicely placed on glossy white pages of larger-than-average type in poetic format. These are tales that must be read aloud. Young children who cannot grasp the subtlety in them will find humor in the conversation and the sound effects.
Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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