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Friday, January 23, 2015

The Raven and the Loon, written by Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley and illustrated by Kim Smith. Inhabit Media, Fitshenry & Whiteside, 2013. $16.95 ages 4 and up

"As usual, Raven talked.
And talked.
Loon sewed.
She listened.
Until Raven ran out of
things to say.
Bored, Raven pointed to
Loon's sewing and said,
"I could do better ..."

In the long ago time, both Raven and Loon wore coats of white. Because of boredom with the blandness of  that white, Raven visits Loon with the idea that they might create more interesting coats for each other. His process is magical:

"So, Raven took Loon's needle and her precious stone lamp.
Raven used his magic.
He dipped the needle in lamp soot.
"Sit still," he told Loon."

Loon is delighted with her new look. She is proud of her new coat. Raven is beyond satisfied with his intricate work. Loon sets out to return the favor, knowing that she can create an even more amazing look for Raven. But, Raven cannot be still. His mouth is constantly moving, and so is his body:

"For the hundredth time, Raven jerked.
The needle zigzagged.
Loon's beautiful work was ruined.
Loon became angry.
"You've ruined it!" she yelled.
Loon threw her lamp at Raven."

And you KNOW what happens next!

This pourquoi story is sure to entertain and entice readers who enjoy folklore. The authors tell it with humor, and emotion. It is a wonderful readaloud, and a memorable story that is sure to be asked for again. The artwork matches the text with expressive birds, frenzied movement and changing perspectives. The Arctic setting is cool and unadorned. Add it to your library at home or at school! It will be a popular read.

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