June 11, 2015

The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Legend by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Anna Vojtech

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 1:53 am by suebe2

The First Strawberries:
A Cherokee Legend
by Joseph Bruchac
illustrated by Anna Vojtech
Puffin Books

Long ago the Creator made a man and a woman.  He made them at the same time so that they would always have each other for company.  Before long they married and things went well for a long time.

Then one day the man came home from hunting and his wife had not yet started dinner. She was picking flowers, hoping to share their beauty with her husband.  The man, hungry after a long day, asked if she expected him to eat the flowers.  At his hurtful words, she turned around and walked away.

The man was quickly sorry but his wife would not listen.  She continued to walk and he followed but nothing he said made her turn around.  When he told the Sun how sorry he was and that he only wanted to apologize, the Sun offered to help.

Reading this story, I was amazing once again by the breadth of Joseph Bruchac’s work which includes a wide variety of poems and books on Native American topics.  This one is a quiet story and Vojtech’s watercolor and colored pencil illustrations compliment it well, giving a peaceful depth to the tale.

This might work well for some story times but may not be high impact enough for a younger crowd that expects something high energy or rowdy.  But it would make an excellent quiet time book for one on one sharing.

As is the case with so many folktales, there is great depth to this story.  It shows how easily words can wound as a well as the importance of forgiveness and persistence.  I can see this book working well in a counselor’s library or any time you want to encourage young readers to talk about their feelings or things that worry them.



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