How Thunder and Lightning Came to Be: A Choctaw Tale

Beatrice Orcutt Harrell, Author, Susan L. Roth, Illustrator
Beatrice Orcutt Harrell, Author, Susan L. Roth, Illustrator Dial Books $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-1748-0
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-8037-1749-7
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Roth (Fire Came to the Earth People) outdoes herself with the exceptional cut-paper collages illustrating this folktale, told by a debut author of Choctaw descent. The Great Sun Father commissions Heloha and Melatha, ``two great, silly birds,'' to devise a way to warn the Choctaw to seek shelter before the approach of a storm. After several bird-brained attempts, the pair unwittingly hits on thunder and lightning-but Heloha and Melatha, too foolish to realize their success, ``are still trying to think of a good warning.'' So intricate and detailed is Roth's scissorwork that electric-blue Heloha and robust red Melatha seem constructed of feathers, not paper. The artist illuminates their almost slapstick endeavors with stop-time acumen and wit, breathing life into the kid-pleasing comedies of the somewhat flat text. Ages 4-8. (May)
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