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Little Hiawatha (Disney's Wonderful World of…
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Little Hiawatha (Disney's Wonderful World of Reading)

by Walt Disney Productions

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    Hiawatha's Bear Hunt (Disney's Wonderful World of Reading) by Walt Disney (Sylak)
    Sylak: further adventures from the little Indian brave.
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Disney’s "Little Hiawatha" tells the story of a young Native American boy who is trying to catch the largest fish in order to become chief for a day. Although I was not completely in love with this book, I still believe it is a good story that holds important messages. The main ideas within this book are always believe in oneself to do anything you set your mind to, and the sibling relationship of love and loyalty. These ideas that are presented throughout this story are conveyed to the reader through the author’s use of literary elements, such as characterization and onomatopoeia.
In order to become chief for a day, Hiawatha would have to catch the biggest fish from the pond. The beginning characterization of Hiawatha shows the reader his determination and belief in himself that he can accomplish this task. For example, when Hiawatha’s father explains to task, Hiawatha responds, “I will catch the biggest fish, I will win the contest.” This quote is accompanied by an illustration depicting Hiawatha in a stance of determination and self-confidence to help the reader comprehend the message of believing in oneself to do anything you set your mind to.
A technique used by the author to emphasize this idea is conflict between Hiawatha and his sister. Once Hiawatha decides he will catch the largest fish, his sister replies, “You are too small to catch a big fish.” The common nature of this sibling relationship shows the more common occurrence of children being told they aren’t big enough to do something. This use of dialogue allows the reader to see Hiawatha’s character become even more determined to complete the task, which is another common occurrence that readers can relate to. When someone is specifically told they cannot do something, they become more motivated to accomplish the task.
Along with this, the story’s plot follows the steps that Hiawatha takes in order to catch the fish. This is where the author begins to use the literary tool of onomatopoeia to engage the reader in Hiawatha’s attempts to catch the biggest fish and the struggles he faces. For example, when Hiawatha first attempts to catch his fish, the author uses the text “He tossed it over the big fish. SWOOSH! The fish slipped through.” The use of onomatopoeia allows the reader to imagine the frustration and struggle Hiawatha is experiencing. Furthermore, when Hiawatha finally lassoes the giant fish, the author uses the text “ZIPPP!” to emphasize this accomplishment. Although the reader is presented with this conflict, the author uses resolution at the end to show Hiawatha accomplishing his task and winning the chief’s job for a day. Through these literary tools the author is able to convey the message that if you believe in yourself and try, you can accomplish whatever task you set your mind too, no matter how small you are.
A parallel to this first message is the sibling relationship presented throughout the story. Hiawatha’s relationship with his sister is a relationship that readers can relate too, or at least comprehend. Young siblings often bicker and argue, but ultimately want to help their sibling with whatever they are trying to accomplish. This back-and-fourth characteristic of the sibling relationship, including love and loyalty, is conveyed through the author’s use of literary devices, such as characterization and dialogue.
When Hiawatha decides that he will catch the biggest fish, his sister, Sunflower, doubts his abilities. This motivates Hiawatha even more. Although Sunflower doubted his ability, the author conveys Sunflower’s love for her brother. For example, after doubting her brother’s ability, she responds with, “I will help you.” This quote shows how siblings are there for each other and just want to help. Another common characteristic for siblings is the resistance of one sibling to accept help from their brother or sister. Hiawatha refuses to let Sunflower help; although, it turns out that Sunflower decides to help anyway. Even though Hiawatha scolded his sister for offering help and thinking he could not complete the task on his own, Sunflower still attempted to help Hiawatha by catching his fish in her basket, which showed her love and loyalty to her brother. These plot elements and the dialogue between the two siblings allows the author to successfully convey the message of sibling relationships and the idea that although they bicker, argue, and occasionally put one another down, they truly want to help the other succeed and are willing to help them succeed.
The use of literary elements such as characterization, onomatopoeia, and dialogue allow the reader to comprehend the author’s main messages of always believing in oneself to accomplish any task the mind is set on, and the sibling relationship of love and loyalty. Although I did not personally love this book, I still believe it is a good story that conveys important messages to the reader. ( )
1 vote heathergoodman | Mar 2, 2015 |
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This book forms part of the Disney's Wonderful World of Reading book club and should not be combined with other Disney versions of the story.
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A young Indian boy wants to catch the biggest fish in a fishing contect so he can wear the Big Chief's war bonnet.

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