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First Woman and the Strawberry: A Cherokee…
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First Woman and the Strawberry: A Cherokee Legend

by Gloria Dominic

Other authors: Charles Reasoner (Illustrator)

Series: Native American Legends (c1996)

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This is a sweet, clever tale. Based on a Cherokee legend, the prose are simple and strong, and when paired with these stylized illustration, the overall effect is lovely. First Man and First Woman live in harmony, until they have a disagreement. In her anger, First Woman strides off and ignored First Man's attempt to catch up. The Great Spirit creates the bright red strawberry, to tempt First Woman and remind her of the love between her and First Man. It's a fun story with the ring of truth to it. In addition to the story, the last few pages have simplified facts about Cherokee history and heritage, complete with pictures. It's a fabulous addition to the story. I highly recommend this book for any kids, and it would be an excellent addition to classroom. ( )
  empress8411 | May 29, 2015 |
First Woman and First Man have their very first argument in this traditional Cherokee tale, exchanging harsh words when they come to a crossroads and cannot agree upon the correct path to follow. When First Woman storms off, First Man almost immediately realizes that he would like to reconcile - but how can he catch his runaway wife, when the strength of her anger gives her such speed? Luckily, the Great Spirit is there to help, when the aid of the birds and the beasts proves insufficient...

Joseph Bruchac and Anna Vojtech's retelling of this tale, The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story, is a real favorite of mine, so I was interested to see how this version by Gloria Dominic - part of Troll's Native American Lore & Legends series - would measure up. For the most part, I enjoyed it, finding the narrative engaging, and the brief history of the Cherokee people at the rear of the book informative. I can't say that the stylized illustrations by Charles Reasoner were the equal of Anna Vojtech's lovely watercolors, but they do have appeal. All in all, First Woman and the Strawberry is a good retelling of this pourquoi tale about the creation of strawberries, and although it hasn't supplanted the Bruchac/Vojtech in my affections, I nevertheless recommend it to all young folklore enthusiasts. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 24, 2013 |
A part of a series of picture book retellings of legends from different Native American tribes. This story is the origin tale for strawberries, which according to the grandmother telling the story, were made especially for a Cherokee woman. The First Woman and First Man lived happily together, but after their first quarrel, the First Man had no idea how to make amends. He couldn't even catch her. The Great Spirit told him not to despair, he would delay the lady, but even the spirits were powerless to stop her! Finally, he created a new berry, and had it grow in her path. The First Woman is finally tricked into stopping, and the sweetness of the berry reminds her of the sweetness of her marriage, and all is well again.

I enjoy reading origin stories, because it interests me to see how different cultures respond to the objects around them by inventing various ways that they could have come about. People have developed ingenious ways of accounting for the phenomenon of this world, and even if I don't believe in the tales, they're fun to read. The strong willed heroine was a nice addition to the story, and the talking animals reminded me of fables and trickery tales. I think it is good to have children's stories from all different cultures, and this is well illustrated edition of a multicultural book. ( )
  nmhale | Oct 3, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gloria Dominicprimary authorall editionscalculated
Reasoner, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Tells the story of an argument between First Man and First Woman and how the first strawberry was created.

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