Cover image for Jabutí the tortoise : a trickster tale from the Amazon
Title:
Jabutí the tortoise : a trickster tale from the Amazon
Author:
McDermott, Gerald.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 24 x 29 cm
Summary:
All the birds enjoy the song-like flute music of Jabuti, the tortoise, except Vulture who, jealous because he cannot sing, tricks Jabuti into riding his back toward a festival planned by the King of Heaven.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
AD 510 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 49849.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.1 1 Quiz: 33322 Guided reading level: L.
ISBN:
9780152004965
Format :
Book

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F2519.1.A6 M33 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
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F2519.1.A6 M33 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
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F2519.1.A6 M33 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
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F2519.1.A6 M33 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
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F2519.1.A6 M33 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
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F2519.1.A6 M33 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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F2519.1.A6 M33 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
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F2519.1.A6 M33 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
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F2519.1.A6 M33 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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F2519.1.A6 M33 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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F2519.1.A6 M33 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Of all the animals in the rain forest, Jabutí was the favorite. His shell was smooth and shiny, and the songs he played on his flute were sweet.
But his music was a reminder, too, of the mischievous pranks Jabutí sometimes played. His song reminded Tapir of being tricked, Jaguar of being fooled, and time and again it reminded Vulture that he had no song at all. When a concert takes place in heaven, Vulture offers to fly Jabutí there . . . all the while plotting a trick of his own.
Gerald McDermott makes myths new again for readers of all ages, using language as vibrant and colorful as his bold illustrations.nbsp;Jabutí is an unusual tale of a trickster's fall from grace, and of how creation can sometimes come from chaos.


Author Notes

Gerald McDermott was born January 31, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan. He began studying art when he was admitted to a class at one of the nation's finest museums, the Detroit Institute of Arts, when he was just four years old. He continued pursuing his passion for art at Cass Tech, a public high school for the gifted. Upon graduation, he was awarded a National Scholastic scholarship to New York's Pratt Institute. He took a leave of absence during his junior year to become the first graphic designer for Channel 13, New York's educational television station, the year it went on the air. He also designed and directed his first animated film, The Stonecutter. He then toured Europe, visiting and exchanging ideas with filmmakers in England, France, and Yugoslavia.

He returned to Pratt to finish his degree in 1964 and began producing and directing a series of animated films on folklore. It was then that he met Joseph Campbell, who served as the consultant on four of McDermott's films. McDermott then began to adapt his films into picture books. His first book, Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti, was named a Caldecott Honor Book. His other books include Arrow to the Sun: A Tale from the Pueblo that won the 1975 Caldecott Medal, Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest, another Caldecott Honor Book, and Musicians of the Sun. He died on December 26, 2012 at the age of 71.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-7. In his introduction, McDermott explains that the tortoise Jabuti, a trickster, is "a central figure in the tribal lore of the Amazon rain forest though his origins may lie in West Africa. Here, Jabuti yearns to join the birds as they fly up to a festival in heaven and to play his flute for the King of Heaven. Treacherous Vulture, who cannot sing and is jealous of Jabuti's music, offers him a ride. He drops the tortoise from a great height, cracking his shell into many pieces, so the King of Heaven sends birds down to mend Jabuti's shell. As they touch the multicolored shell, helpful Toucan, Macaw, and Hummingbird become brilliantly colored themselves. The story ends with Jabuti playing his flute, to the displeasure of Vulture, who still has no song and no colors. Certainly there's no lack of colors in McDermott's latest picture book. From the hot pink backgrounds to the shaded greens of the forest to the many hues of the birds and beasts, color springs from the pages, which feature bold, accessible composition of forms. Simply written and well paced, this will make an imaginative read-aloud choice for classroom units on the rain forest. Carolyn Phelan


Publisher's Weekly Review

With its shocking-pink jacket and swirls of brilliant designs, McDermott's retelling of this rain forest tale is visually arresting but narratively a bit colorless. The reputed trickster Jabut! gets his comeuppance when a jealous Vulture offers to fly the tortoise and his flute to the King of Heaven's festival of song, then wickedly drops his passenger down from the skies. The King of Heaven chastises the vulture, and the birds who put Jabut!'s smooth shell back together again gain new feathers as their reward. Though Jabut!'s shell is "cracked and patched," his "song is sweet." Oddly, Jabut! doesn't possess a trickster's lively intelligence or cleverness, and the story's plot is resolved by the God of Heaven's intervention rather than by the protagonist's cunning. The story begins with the animals that Jabut! has tricked, but they all disappear immediately in favor of a pourquoi tale about how the tortoise got the cracks on his shell. McDermott's illustrations, on the other hand, vibrate with electric colors and patterns. Jabuti's huge eyes and geometric smile, and the interior, brightly colored birds are startling when silhouetted against the pink sky. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-Jabut' the tortoise enchants the birds of the Amazon rain forest with the sweet song of his flute. Still, not every forest creature can forgive him for his chicanery or his talent, and somber Vulture is so jealous over Jabut''s song that he himself turns trickster by offering to fly the tortoise to heaven so he can play for the King of Heaven. Jabut' foolishly accepts the offer and is purposely tossed off Vulture's back, tumbling through the air and landing on his smooth shell, which shatters upon a rock. The King commands the birds to search for him, and upon finding him, they piece his shattered shell back together, forming a handsome new design. In turn, the small creature thanks them with a song and they are given brilliant new colors, while Vulture remains both dull and songless. Combining various traditional story elements indigenous to the Amazon rain forest with more ubiquitous folkloric themes, McDermott offers a simple yet lyrical tale that is as satisfying to hear as it is to read. While Jabut' appears less a cunning trickster than a beloved songster, the story succeeds by embracing what McDermott refers to as a universal trickster theme, namely, "Creation comes from chaos." Utilizing a radiant palette to evoke the brilliance and vitality of the region, McDermott's spreads feature his familiar geometrically drawn characters that seem to vibrate against the lush-green stylized foliage set upon hot-pink backgrounds. The result is a worthy addition to the artist's impressive series of trickster tales.-Teri Markson, Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, Los Angeles (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.