Many cultures enjoy their different versions of the flood story. This picture book, by Gerald Hausman, beautifully illustrated by Ramon Shiloh, tells a version known to Creek Indians, and ends with an author’s note that ties our different stories and cultures together. He quotes, “There is no competition in tribal storytelling. Just the message and the ways it can be expressed.” This story carries a wise and simple message, beautifully expressed for parents and children to share.
The text is simple, lyrical and clear. The names of Listener the Otter, Honors Himself the buffalo chief, and Spotted Frog are immediately filled with meaning and character. And the images draw out those meanings, illustrating the text with bright clear colors, and adding the magic of pattern, shape and contrast.
Spotted Frog prophesies the coming of the flood. Listener builds a raft. But Honors Himself and the rest of the animals ignore what’s coming to pass. Echoes of the Bible slip in an out, making this a thoroughly enjoyable cross-cultural tale. Mystery and magic dance in the loneliness of Listener as he learns his cleverness was never really his salvation. Instead, listening and heeding offer a chance to save more than himself.
The Otter, the Spotted Frog and the Great Flood is a beautiful story, simply told, easily read, gorgeously illustrated, and gently deep; perfect for parents and children everywhere.
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to be offered a free copy to review and enjoy.
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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more