Joan Weisman The Storyteller

ISBN 13: 9780847817429

The Storyteller

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9780847817429: The Storyteller
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New to the city neighborhood, a Pueblo Indian girl finds a friend in an elderly neighbor with whom she shares stories

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 1-3-Rama is responsible for the care of her younger siblings while her mother works and her father is hospitalized. She misses her home and her storytelling grandfather left behind at Cochiti Pueblo during their extended stay in the city. Her duties are lightened when she makes friends with an elderly neighbor in the apartment building. The children gather round to hear Miss Lottie's stories and take turns telling their own tales. At summer's end, Rama gives the woman her pottery storyteller doll as a token of their friendship. Perspective in Bradley's primitive-style paintings is very flat and without depth. Colors glow vividly as they do through the thin air of the high desert. But the human forms have a stiff, doll-like look to them. Hands and arms are forced into unnatural angles. Weisman contrasts life in the city, where babies pick up dirty cigarette butts and the older siblings complain of boredom, with life in the pueblo, where "there were always hundreds of things to do!" Although the book validates the value of storytelling in the human experience, there is almost no story here: no rising action, no plot twists, no satisfying conclusion. The tale of the storyteller has yet to be told.
Ruth Semrau, formerly at Lovejoy School, Allen, TX
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

At ten, Rama is hard pressed looking after four younger sibs in the street where there's little to do. Her family is living in the city while Father is in the hospital, her mother works nights, and Rama misses her real home at Cochiti Pueblo and her grandparents' traditional tales. Then she makes friends with Miss Lottie, the lonely old woman upstairs who reminds her of her grandparents, and shows her her most precious possession--a storyteller doll with five children in her lap--explaining how Grandfather tells stories. Soon Miss Lottie and Rama, plus other neighborhood children, are sharing many kinds of stories-- fingerplays, memories, and newly invented ones--out on the stoop; and when at last Rama's family returns to Cochiti, she leaves the doll with her new friend. Weisman's amiable story is effectively illustrated in the intense colors of the Southwest. Bradley, a Santa Fe-based Chippewa, places his sturdy, primitive forms in carefully organized compositions that draw the characters warmly together. Instructive and appealing. Note about storyteller dolls. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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