Children's Books

HOW TURTLE'S BACK WAS CRACKED: A TRADITIONAL CHEROKEE TALE, retold by Gayle Ross, paintings by Murv Jacob. Dial Books for Young Readers, 375 Hudson St., N.Y., NY 10014, (212) 366-2000, (212) 366-2666 FAX. Illustrated, afterword. 32 pp., $14.99 cloth. 0- 8037-1728-8 Available from Oyate.

Long ago, turtle's shell was smooth. Always bragging that he was a great hunter, one day he takes credit for the act of another (possum killed the greedy coyote), and the wolves decide to teach him a lesson. Jacob's intricate and impressionistic acrylics (a curlicue sky, animals that wear breechcloths) lend an air of mystery and tension to the story, which teaches the folly of bragging, greed, and taking credit for the accomplishments of another. Includes an afterword on the Cherokee Nation. Grade: A-.Reviewed by: Steve Brock

Note: There is an audiotape of Ross reading this story and her other children's book, How Rabbit Tricked Otter from Oyate. See Audio Visual page. -- Paula Giese


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Native American BOOKS, text and graphics copyright Paula Giese, 1996

Last Updated: Monday, March 11, 1996 - 11:37:17 AM