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Gluskabe and the Four Wishes by Joseph…

Gluskabe and the Four Wishes

by Joseph Bruchac

Other authors: Christine Nyburg Shrader (Illustrator)

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Gluskabe is a man known to grant wishes to the Wabanaki people of New England. After doing great things he went to live on a far away island. People heard that if they came to him, he would grant them a wish so four Abenaki men went on this journey to find Gluskabe. Four men decided to make the journey even though it was very dangerous. When they meet Gluskabe and make their wishes, he gives them pouches but tells them not to open them until they get home. Three of the men do not listen and open their pouches and suffer horrible fates. The fourth man listens to Gluskabe's instructions and because of it he's blessed with abundace through his own hard work. A lovely tale about patience and understanding. ( )
  AleciaDesselle | Feb 21, 2014 |
When Gluskabe, "helper of the Great Spirit," withdraws to a distant island to rest, after performing many deeds to "make the world right," he lets it be known that anyone who can reach his far retreat will have one wish granted. And so four men set out, in this retelling of an Abenaki tale, each hoping to have his fondest desire satisfied. One longs for wealth and possessions, another for great height, a third for eternal life, and the fourth for skill as a hunter, in order to feed his family and people. All wishes are granted, but only if the men can fulfill Gluskabe's condition, and not look in the leather pouches given to them, until they reach home...

Gluskabe is a culture hero whose exploits can be found in the folk traditions of many of the Wabanaki peoples, from the Passamaquoddy to Mi'kmaq (who know him as Glooskap), but this particular story is from Bruchac's own Abenaki heritage. A teaching tale, that emphasizes - through the different fates of the four men - the importance of following instructions, it also presents the idea that a desire to help others, and be of service to the larger group, is most commendable, and will be rewarded. Bruchac's narrative flows smoothly, and is well-matched by Christine Nyburg Schrader's dark-toned illustrations, making Gluskabe and the Four Wishes a picture-book sure to please young folklore lovers.

Readers looking for additional stories about this folk hero, might want to consider Bruchac's audio collection, Gluskabe Stories, or, if they're interested in finding another cultural perspective, there is On the Trail of Elder Brother: Glous'gap Stories of the Micmac Indians. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 26, 2013 |
Bruchac, Joseph. (1995) Gluskabe and the Four Wishes. Illustrated by Christine Nyburg Shrader. New York: Cobblehill Books/Dutton.
This is a story told among the Wabanaki peoples of New England. Gluskabe is a hero among his people and did many things to help them. When he was done, he then went to live in in a far away island. People heard that if they came to him, he would grant them a wish so four Abenaki men went on this journey to find Gluskabe. Their journey was very dangerous but each man knew how to make things easier for them. They reach Gluskabe and make their wishes and he gives them pouches but instructs them not to open them until they get home. Three of the men do not listen and open their pouches and suffer horrible fates. The last man does listen to Gluskabe and is rewarded greatly when his wish is granted.

What makes this story unique is that there are many different versions of this story as it was mainly told orally. The author is of Abenaki Indian descent, and used his own research to write his own version. ( )
  cacv78 | Jul 15, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joseph Bruchacprimary authorall editionscalculated
Shrader, Christine NyburgIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Doris Minkler and Cecile Wawanolet, Abenaki elders who teach the best wishes are unselfish ones Ktsi oleohneh (Great thanks!) JB
To my buddy Stephen, with special artist-thanks to Lee Blodget and Cherry Brown. CNS
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LONG AGO, Gluskabe lived with his grandmother, Woodchuck, near the big water. Gluskabe is the one who defeated the monster which tried to keep all the water in the world for himself.
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Four Abenaki men set out on a difficult journey to ask the great hero Gluskabe to grant each his fondest wish.

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