The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story

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9781937786120: The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story
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When Spotted Frog tells of a great flood that is about to destroy their homes, all of the animals ignore his warnings, except Listener the Otter. Ridiculed by the other animals, Listener heeds Spotted Frog's predictions and begins to build a raft to try and survive the impending disaster. But will his efforts be enough?

This charming children's book warns us to listen to the wisdom of nature and the environment. Based on a traditional story from the Creek Indians of northern Florida and Georgia, this book is retold by award-winning author and storyteller Gerald Hausman, and is brought to life by the powerful images of Ramon Shiloh. This universal tale is imbued with Native American wisdom that is even more prescient now, with the conditions of global warming that threaten our world.

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About the Author:

The author of over 70 books, Gerald Hausman is an award-winning writer, editor, and storyteller on North American, Central European, and West Indian folktales. His many books focus particularly on Native American themes and animal mythology. Hausman's work has earned him many honors and awards, and he has also appeared on various television and radio programs. During his thirty-five years as a storyteller, Gerald has entertained children of all ages at such places as the Kennedy Center, Harvard University, St John's College and in schools from one end of the country to the other. Five audio books have come out in recent years and two of Gerald's books have been made into animated and folkloric films. His books have also been translated into a dozen foreign languages and include Turtle Island Alphabet: A Lexicon of Native American Culture and The Image Taker: The Selected Stories and Photographs of Edward S. Curtis. He lives in Tesuque, New Mexico.

Ramon Shiloh is an author, illustrator, and public speaker. Born in Northern California, he was highly influenced by his mother, June Le Grand, a broadcaster and Native storyteller. As an advocate of minority issues, he has been active in support of arts programs related to minorities. His contributions to Native youth projects include serving as a mentor for the “Young Native Voices Theater Education Project” in Los Angeles. He has also worked with Rosa Parks and was honored with a certificate of appreciation as a facilitator and storyteller for the Underground Railroad Research Program: A Trail of Tears in 2000. He also wrote and illustrated the educational book Guidance through an Illustrative Alphabet. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Review:

*Starred Review* In this Creek flood story, the world is populated by “animal people”; the Noah figure is a river otter, eloquently named Listener, and the flood prophecy―as well as instructions for building a watertight raft, anchored to “the tallest water oak in the woods”―comes in the form of a song from bright-green Spotted Frog. In beautifully direct prose, Hausman evokes Listener's diligence and the watery cataclysm he survives: “Far below the gloom, fish flew like silent birds through the sunken trees. Alligators and manatees swam through the silence of the deepening flood.” The story's second half, in which a lonely but patient Listener struggles to find companionship (he is eventually rewarded with both a mate and transformation into a human being) may test some younger readers' patience, but Shiloh's (Star Stories for Little Dreamers) illustrations, which have a hand-painted quality, should hold their attention. The pictures are woven into the story and range from folk art–like motifs to strikingly realistic portraiture, creating a sense of a Native American illuminated manuscript. Ages 4–8. (Publishers Weekly)

Like the best traditional tales, this is a story that both entertains and contains meaningful teachings that can be interpreted on more than one level. It's a celebration of life, of the power of spirit and of the importance of listening to all of Creation--from the greatest voice to the most humble. It is also as beautifully designed and illustrated as it is told with luminous artwork by Ramon Shiloh. (Joseph Bruchac)

“Hausman's vivid storytelling combines masterfully with Shiloh's stunning, colorful images to make this cautionary environmental tale compelling and enjoyable. It is highly recommended for families to read aloud.” (Michael Oren Fitzgerald)

“Ramon is an amazing storyteller and his style of illustration really brings the pages to life.” (Chris Eyre Director of Smoke Signals)

“Shiloh's images of Otter and other animals are so beautifully done and he keeps his illustrations so amazingly simple, you never get distracted from the story.” (Kathy Peltier, Daughter of Leonard Peltier)

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