How Snowshoe Hare Rescued the Sun: A Tale from the Arctic

Emery Bernhard, Author, Durga Bernhard, Author, Durga Bernhard, Illustrator Holiday House $15.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-8234-1043-9
Fresh language and striking illustrations rescue what could have been a humdrum retelling of a tale borrowed from the Yuit people of the northeast tip of Siberia. Greedy demons steal the sun, leaving the earth cold and dark for its animal populace. Old Snowy Owl calls a great council to decide who should rescue the sun from its captors. Bear is chosen for the task but gets sidetracked by some tasty berries. Wolf sets out next but falls asleep on the way. Finally, Snowshoe Hare takes on the challenge, never stopping to eat or seek shelter. Facing great danger, he retrieves the sun and kicks it up into the sky where it breaks into a brighter sun, a moon and stars. Each animal represents some human foible or strength, with the quiet rabbit hero exhibiting selflessness and courage. The gouache and acrylic paintings, inspired--as the artist notes in the book's introduction--``by ritual masks and carved objects of native peoples of Alaska and Siberia and by contemporary Inuit stonecut prints,'' feature sleek lines and pleasingly unexpected color combinations. With their wintry colors, these illustrations complement the quiet, dignified cadences of this traditional folktale. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
Genre: Children's
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