by Te Ata
In this winning retelling of a Native American tale, poor Baby Rattlesnake cries continuously because he doesn't have a rattle like his older brother and sister. The (rattlesnake) elders of the village finally decide to give in to the youngster, partially to silence his squalling. As predicted, the baby cannot handle the responsibility; when he loses his rattle, he comes crying home to his parents who ``gave him big rattlesnake hugs.' Reisberg's vivid, fanciful illustrations perfectly depict the Southwestern setting; her many comical touches include a derby-sporting father rattlesnake and a heavily made-up mother. The paintings' sparkling borders make splendid use of regional designs and fauna. Even very small children will understand--and profit from--this deceptively simple story's valuable lesson. Ages 4-10.
Copyright 1989 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-- Baby Rattlesnake wants a rattle that's just like his big brother and sister's in this native American cautionary tale. The young snake makes such a ruckus that the elders decide to give in to him, even though he is still too young to use his rattle wisely. As the elders predict, Baby Rattlesnake creates mischief with his new power. He meets his match, however, when he tries to scare the chief's daughter, who is as strong and decisive as she is beautiful and proud. Humbled and without his rattle, the little snake returns to his forgiving family. Adapted from the work of Te Ata, a Chickasaw storyteller now in her 90s, the story is fast moving, dramatic, and economically told. The collage and cartoonlike paintings are cluttered, but the desert country colors are deftly combined to make the book bright and attractive. This short tale will be a welcomed addition to story hour collections. --Carolyn Polese, Gateway Community School, Arcata, CA
Copyright 1990 Cahners Business Information, Inc.