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Two Bear Cubs: A Miwok Legend from…
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Two Bear Cubs: A Miwok Legend from California's Yosemite Valley

by Robert D. San Souci

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The genre of this book is legend. The Miwok people of California told the tale of two young bear cubs, who, not minding their mother, wander far away from her, and fall asleep on a rock. The rock grew taller and taller, until the cubs slept among the clouds in the sky, and Red-Tailed Hawk caught sight of them, and went to tell Mother Grizzly, who had been searching tirelessly. She found her friends, Gray Fox, Badger, Mother Deer, Mountain lion, and Mouse, who each, in turn, tried to climb the narrow and steep rock on which the cubs slept. Red-Tailed Hawk had been unable to wake them due to the winds so high up in the air. Finally, little Measuring Worm came, and said that he could reach Mother Grizzly's cubs. Though the animals ridiculed him, he climbed slowly and steadily, leaving a path of thread behind him, chanting "Tu-tok, tu-tok!" After days and nights, he reached the cubs, and safely guided them down the tall rock. Oh, how the animals rejoiced when they reached the bottom! The tall rock came to be henceforth known as, "Tu-tok-a-nu-la," which means "Measuring Worm Stone," in honor of the creature who defied the odds. ( )
  athena.j | Apr 6, 2015 |
Internet UPC Database
  ritubohara | Apr 8, 2013 |
Based on a Miwok legend and set in Yosemite, two bear cubs wander away from their mother and fall asleep on top of a rock which grows into the clouds. All the animals try to rescue the bears, but it is the lowly inchworm that finally brings them home.
  ddonahue805 | Jun 1, 2012 |
A great educational resource and entertaining story from the archives of Miwok legend, although the author and illustrator could have done just a bit more to educate their readers on the status of the native people of central California today, and not only in the past.

Uses: Any lesson on Yosemite, one of America's most spectacular national parks, could include this book. Good educational section in the end about the Miwok people. ( )
  didaly | Aug 6, 2010 |
This California Miwok legend reminds me a bit of the Aesop's fable "The Lion and the Mouse" because it too shows that even the smallest creature can do great work. After a day of play, two rambunctious bear cubs finally grew tired and climbed up on a flat granite rock to take a nap. While they were sleeping (over days, months, and seasons) the rock rose higher and higher. Meanwhile, the cubs' mother was searching frantically for her offspring. Red-Tailed Hawk brings the news that the two cubs are sleeping upon a stone which had become a towering mountain. However, Hawk, Grizzly, Badger, Mouse, Gray Fox, and Mother Deer were not able to climb the mountain to rescue the cubs. Despite major scoffing from the other animals, Measuring Worm (Tu-tok-a-na) volunteers to try and bring the cubs down from the mountain. (As most of the book's readers will probably guess by this point in the story), Measuring Worm persevered and guided down the cubs. All the animals decided to call the mountain "Tu-tok-a-nu-la" which means "Measuring Worm Stone". San Souci finishes the story with "And so the towering landmark was known for many years, until newcomers renamed the huge granite wall, El Capitan." Robert San Souci does a good job including Yosemite plants and animals in the story and includes some information about the Miwok in his endnotes. His brother, Daniel San Souci, illustrated the legend with cute animal pictures that will most assuredly appeal to my fourth graders. ( )
  odonnell | Jul 11, 2010 |
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Retells the Miwok Indian legend in which a little measuring worm saves two bear cubs stranded at the top of the rock known as El Capitan.

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