You Are What You Read

Reviews of books as I read them. This is basically a (web)log of books I've read.

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Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States

I am a DBA/database analyst by day, full time father on evenings and weekends.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection is a graphic novel compilation of Native American trickster stories edited by Matt Dembicki. It delivers several stories based on American Indian trickster stories, each written and drawn by a different writer and artist. The art styles are varied, visually appealing, and quite colorful.

The first story is "Coyote and the Pebbles", a great example of a creation myth. The people gather pebbles to place in the sky as stars. But coyote trips and spills his pebbles all over the place, creating a messy sky. "Rabbit and the Tug-of-war" is a fun story about Rabbit tricking two buffaloes into a tug-of-war against each other, and tricking them again when they discover the ruse.

I got the book thinking my kids would enjoy it, and they sure did. Bedtime brought calls of "Trickster!" They both enjoyed "Rabbit's Choctaw Tail Tale", about how the talkative and pushy Rabbit gets tricked by Fox. Rabbit wants the fish that Fox has so bad that he follows Fox's advice to stick his tail in the frozen water, and it comes off when he tries to yank it out of the ice. We also got a kick out of "Giddy up Wolfie", about how Rabbit tricks Wolf into letting him ride him in front of his girlfriend.

There are some darker stories too, many filled with mythic elements. There is "Dangerous Beaver", about five brothers who are tricked and killed by the beaver, except for the fifth brother who receives advice from another creature. In "When Coyote Decided to Get Married", Coyote turns his potential brides and their families to stone after one of the women turns out to not be pure. In "Espun and Grandfather", the raccoon Espun is flattened by a large rock until he convinces a group of ants to rebuild him.

The art in the stories matches the tone of the stories themselves. They range from gloomy to silly to mischievous to hopeful. It is a fun set of stories for the whole family. A-

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