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The Great Race by Paul Goble

The Great Race

by Paul Goble

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This book was a gift from a friend of mine, and it was one of the most thoughtful, wonderful gifts. Paul Goble takes on the traditional story of The Great Race, and his illustrations are a wonderful addition to a timeless tale. ( )
  BrindelStubbs | Jun 12, 2017 |
“The Great Race” details the mythology of the Cheyenne and Sioux people. According to legend, buffalo used to eat humans long ago. A race was held between the four-legged animals and the two-legged animals. If the four-legged animals won, they would be able to eat the two-legged animals. But if the two-legged animals won, they would be able to eat the four-legged animals. Each side was sure that they would win. The race began and continued for many days. Animals dropped out because they were too tired to finish the race. Magpie, the slowest of all birds, used her intelligence to win the race. She sat on the fastest buffalo throughout the whole race, and then flew ahead of him at the finish line to win. So now, the humans are allowed to eat the buffalo when they need meat instead of vice versa.
I thought this was a very interesting story. I am always intrigued by the myths and legends of different cultures, and I really enjoyed this one. It reminded me a little bit of the tortoise and the hare because Magpie was the slowest bird, but she did not give up and ended up winning the race for the humans. ( )
  mkstorey | Mar 17, 2017 |
My opinion of this book is a good one and I really like the plot and language. The story is an old Native American legend about the creator and animals in the Great Plains. The creator wanted to have a race between all four legged animals and two legged animals to determine if buffalos would be allowed to continue eating humans or if humans could instead eat buffalos. The buffalo and a chosen boy ran to the highest hill with other animals following. In the end a Magpie, who had been resting on the buffalo for most of the race, flies off to cross the finish line and wine the race for two legged animals and humans. I found the plot to be interesting and while there were foreshadowing moments, the ending was surprising to the characters of the book.

Besides the plot, I enjoyed the language of the story for a number of reasons. The book was very easy to read and follow along as the story unfolded and the great race continued on. The description of the animals was detailed and added to the language of the story as well as the tone in which the first few pages were written. For example, “The animals swam past them; except for Beaver, whose legs were too short for such a long race, and he slipped into a lovely pool in the shade of the trees.” The main message of the story is that, races aren’t always about the fastest racer, but usually the wisest racer who uses their smarts to come out on top. ( )
  gretchencompere | Mar 29, 2016 |
The Great Race
I liked this book three reasons. This book is about a Native American story about a race between all the animals “the creator” made. All the four legged animals were on their side and then the two legged animals had their side and they began their race. Despite the man trying his hardest he still fell behind, but then the bird Magpie swooped ahead and won the race for the two legged animals. The two legged animals are identified as superior and can eat the other four legged animals. One of the reasons I like this book it is a very unique story. It is not very often that there is a children’s story about a Native American story. Therefore I thought the story was very interesting and it was a story I hadn’t heard before. Since I had not heard the story before it was more interesting to me than a book that had a story I had heard before. The second reason I liked this book was the pictures looked very authentically Native American. The pictures looked like the pictures drawn on old pots and canvases. It made me feel like the book was more like a story told by Native Americans which made the story more interesting to me. The third and final reason I liked this book was the message behind the story. That message is that you don’t have to do everything yourself. It is important to keep in mind that you don’t have to do everything yourself and not to be too afraid to accept help from those around you. Also being thankful when someone does a nice thing for you. In the story the bird wins the race for the two legged man and the man is so thankful they wear feathers and promise to never hurt the birds. In conclusion I liked this book because the pictures made this book seem like an authentic Native American story, unique story, and positive message about getting help. ( )
  arifki3 | Mar 1, 2016 |
Summary: Long ago, when the world was still quite new, buffaloes used to eat people. But the Creator saw the people's distress and decreed that a contest be held between all the two-legged and four-legged creatures. Who would win, thundering Buffalo or fleet-footed Man?
Personal Reaction: The artwork in this book is amazing. I enjoy reading different folklore tales. I like the moral of working together.
Classroom Extension: I would use this in my Montana History class chapter 2 as an example of Native American creation story. ( )
  LorraineAllen | Mar 4, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689714521, Paperback)

Long ago, when the world was still quite new, buffaloes used to eat people. It is true? The hair on their chins is hair of the people they use to eat...It is Terrible to think about those times...

But the Creator saw the people's distress and decreed that a contest be held between all the two-legged and four-legged creatures. Who would win, thundering Buffalo or fleet-footed Man? None of the other animals was fast enough, and before the end, Beaver and Muskrat slipped off into a cool stream, Jack-rabbit hopped off across the plain, and Mole and Gopher tunneled underground (and may still think the race is on).

The winner was decided long ago, in Sioux and Cheyenne legend. Buffalo -- who lost -- agreed to give up eating men for dinner, and thanks to the cunning of a single magpie, Man became the guardian of the natural world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A retelling of the Cheyenne and Sioux myth about the Great Race, a contest called by the Creator to settle the question of whether man or buffalo should have supremacy and thus become the guardians of Creation.

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