Sister Rabbit’s Tricks

Emmett Shkeme Garcia, Author, Victoria Pringle, Illustrator
Emmett “Shkeme” Garcia, illus. by Victoria Pringle. Univ. of New Mexico, $18.95 paper (40p) ISBN 978-0-8263-5268-2
Book - 978-0-8263-5269-9
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Garcia and Pringle, who previously collaborated on Coyote and the Sky (2006), return with a trickster tale starring Sister Rabbit, whose cruel jokes reveal why buzzards’ heads are bald, bees don’t like to be disturbed, and bald eagles’ heads are white. Pringle paints soft, naïf woodland scenes—Sister Rabbit looks especially innocent, which perhaps explains why the other animals are so willing to go along with her instructions. The rabbit cajoles Buzzard into participating in a Fire Dance, which burns off the colorful plumage on his head; persuades Bear that he should whack a beehive with a stick; and gets Eagle to stick his head in a hole filled with ash, turning it white (the effect of the third story is lessened by Pringle’s choice to paint Eagle’s head white both before and after the incident). Garcia’s pared-down storytelling is both accessible and entertaining (just right for storytime), and Sister Rabbit gets her comeuppance, forced to use her large ears and feet to avoid Buzzard, Bear, and Eagle, “who sometimes still chase her around the forest.” Ages 3–5. (Feb.)
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