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The Blizzard’s Robe by Robert Sabuda
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The Blizzard’s Robe (1999)

by Robert Sabuda

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The Blizzard's Robe is about a girl named Teune who is a robe maker. She spends her entire summer, spring, and fall making robes for people in fear of the great blizzard that comes in the winter. When the great blizzard came she threw the robe on the fire and the blizzard promised her great things. She then began making a robe for the blizzard. The leader of the community came to Teune and asked her why she would do this and he told her to destroy the robe at once. Instead she gave the robe to the great blizzard and one night instead of a giant storm, the blizzard brought beautiful lights that were said to be now the northern lights. From then on they didn't fear the great blizzard, they danced under the northern lights.
  chloethom1818 | Feb 29, 2016 |
In the bitter cold Artic, the people live in darkness. Fearing the harsh winter, the tribes people create a monster like creature called the blizzard. He is high, fierce and unrelenting. A young girl named Teune is masterful in creating lovely, creative robes to warm her people against the blizzard's harshness.

During one particularly harsh blizzard, when the wilds are howling and the cold outside the tents arrives inside to dampen the fires, rending all bleak, frozen and dark, Teune throws her sewing materials on what is left of her fire. Creating a large fire which soars through the hole in the tent and harms the blizzard, while others celebrate the near death of the Blizzard, Teune feels sad.

Making a large, stunning robe for the blizzard, enrages the townspeople who are glad that the blizzard is gone. When the blizzard is covered in the robe, he shows his appreciation by creating the colorful northern lights to shine brightly in the sky and provide warmth to all. ( )
  Whisper1 | Jan 1, 2015 |
This is a really cool book. The folklore aspect of it is fabulous and the illustrations are incredible. I don't know the first thing about the style he used, but I liked it. ( )
  matthewbloome | May 19, 2013 |
Acclaimed pop-up artist Robert Sabuda, creator of such titles as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: A Pop-up Adaptation, and (with Matthew Reinhart) the Encyclopedia Prehistorica series, presents an original story about how the Northern Lights came to be in this lovely picture-book. The People Who Fear the Winter Night live "far to the north by the great Arctic Sea," and tremble, during the long winter months, at the coming of Blizzard, with his icy gusts and bitter cold. When Teune, the best robe-maker in the tribe, accidentally destroys Blizzard's icy raiment, her people are delighted, but she herself is dismayed. Determined to make amends, she creates a new robe, despite the protests of the village leader - a generous action that is rewarded, when Blizzard gives the people a gift that will lighten the darkness of the long nights...

Like the friend who recommended this one to me (thanks, Lisa!), I really loved the artwork here, created using a batik medium. Both color and composition are gorgeous, making The Blizzard's Robe a solid four-star title, from a visual perspective. Sadly, I was a little less enamored with the story, which seemed to be modeled on some kind of (unspecified) folklore. I suspect that Sabuda's inspiration was Siberian, since he calls the dwellings of the people here "yarangas" (a yurt-like structure used by the Chukchi people), and because his heroine is named "Teune." I see that there is an Nenets folktale, published during the Soviet era, entitled The Tale of Brave Yatto and His Sister Teune, which James Riordan's collection, The Sun Maiden and the Crescent Moon: Siberian Folk Tales, also includes, under the name Bold Yatto and his Sister Tayune.

If there was a Siberian influence on this story, I would have preferred Sabuda to have mentioned that, even if his story was entirely original. It doesn't bother me, as it does Beverly Slapin, in A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children - she calls this "a crass ripoff of the Arctic peoples" - that Sabuda did create an original tale with Arctic overtones, but I think a tip of the hat, to his source material (if he had any), would have been in order, and made the reading experience that much richer. Either that, or a retelling of an actual folktale with this theme, given the paucity of native Siberian material available, in English. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 13, 2013 |
Really beautiful but too long for storytime. Village is scared of the night and Blizzard. A seamstress sets Blizzard's Robe on fire, but then she has a vision she must replace it. She makes the most beautiful robe for Blizzard and he gifts her village with the Aurora Borealis. ( )
  dangerlibearian | Dec 7, 2010 |
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To Jon Lanman for his guidance, patience, and faith —R. S.
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Far to the North by the Great Arctic Sea, there once lived a clan of people.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689319886, Hardcover)

Far to the north by the great Arctic Sea, where the winter sun barely rises above the horizon, live the People Who Fear the Winter Night. On the long winter nights the People huddle around their hearths, fearing visits from terrible Blizzard, who can destroy anything with its icy winds and snow.

Among the People lives a young girl named Teune -- the finest robemaker they have ever known. One night while Blizzard rages outside, the sparks from Teune's fire accidentally set fire to Blizzard's magnificent robe and consume it. But while the People Who Fear the Winter Night rejoice that Blizzard is no longer a threat, Teune sorrows to we Blizzard's mighty robe destroyed and sets out to make amends.

Robert Sabuda once again demonstrates his extraordinary artistic versatility in these magnificent batik illustrations, with details drawn from authentic folk motifs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:56 -0400)

A young girl living in a village in the cold, dark Arctic north makes a robe for the feared Blizzard, and as a reward he creates the Northern Lights.

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