Monday, February 8, 2021

Read Aloud Winners: The Trickster Tales of Gerald McDermott

 Everyday is a good day for a read aloud, of course, but some books make better read alouds than others. Among my favorites are the trickster tales as winningly told and exquisitely illustrated by Gerald McDermott. McDermott was not only a world class artist, his illustrations just literally jump off the page at you, but also an expert in folklore. Trickster tales come to us from many different cultures and McDermott mined these rich resources for these entertaining stories.

Perhaps the most familiar of McDermott's books, this Caldecott Honor Book established McDermott's distinctive style.  Anansi is a  troublemaker whose six sons try to save him from all the problems he causes. A West African Folktale.

In this tale from the American Southwest, the animals of the desert teach the troublesome Coyote a lesson.
In this tale from India, a hungry, clever Monkey must find a way to get the tasty mangoes from the island in the river with Crocodile's help, without becoming Crocodile's lunch.
In this Native American tale from the Pacific Northwest, Raven wants to bring light into the world, but first he must find out where Sky Chief keeps it.
In this tale from the Amazon, Jabuti the Tortoise is a fine musician and an irritating trickster. Vulture plots a trick of his own to play on Jabuti on the way to a concert in heaven.
My personal favorite of these trickster tales. Zomo the Rabbit retells the West African tale of a tricky rabbit who is very clever, but  not very wise. Will the Sky God help him find wisdom?

Reading several of these titles would make for a great read aloud unit on trickster tales in folklore. What are you reading aloud to your students/children today?

No comments:

Post a Comment