Cover image for What's the hurry, Fox? : and other animal stories
What's the hurry, Fox? : and other animal stories
Thomas, Joyce Carol.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[New York] : HarperCollins, [2004]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Presents a volume of pourquoi tales collected by Zora Neale Hurston from her field research in the Gulf states in the 1920s.
Reading Level:
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 79117.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.1.T3765 WH 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.1.T3765 WH 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PZ8.1.T3765 WH 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.1.T3765 WH 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Acclaimed anthropologist, folklorist, and novelist Zora Neale Hurston traveled the back roads of the rural South, collecting stories from men, women, and children in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana so that the spirit and richness of the oral storytelling tradition could be shared and preserved. What's the Hurry, Fox? is a sampling of stories from Every Tongue Got To Confess, Ms. Hurston's third volume of folktales collected from the Gulf statesin the 1930s. They have been carefully adapted and shaped by National Book -- and Coretta Scott King Award--winning author Joyce Carol Thomas to appeal to the sensibilities of young readers. Caldecott Honor -- and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Bryan Collier adds his unique vision with collages that capture the rich heritage and rural community setting of the stories that are Ms. Hurston's legacy to us.

Author Notes

Zora Neale Hurston was born in 1901 in Eatonville, Fla. She left home at the age of 17, finished high school in Baltimore, and went on to study at Howard University, Barnard College, and Columbia University before becoming one of the most prolific writers in the Harlem Renaissance.

Her works included novels, essays, plays, and studies in folklore and anthropology. Her most productive years were the 1930s and early 1940s. It was during those years that she wrote her autobiography Dust Tracks on a Road, worked with the Federal Writers Project in Florida, received a Guggenheim fellowship, and wrote four novels. She is most remembered for her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, published in 1937. In 2018, her previously unpublished work, Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo, was published.

She died penniless and in obscurity in 1960 and was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1973, her grave was rediscovered and marked and her novels and autobiography have since been reprinted.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 3. Zora Neale Hurston was a pioneer collector of folklore in the rural South in the 1930s, but her retellings, written in heavy dialect, aren't accessible to children. Using simplicity, humor, wit, and a colloquial style true to the spirit of the originals, Thomas has adapted some of Hurston's rich pourquoi tales, and Collier's double-page-spread pictures combine painting and collage to show the animal characters' sly human machinations. The stories are very short, leaving lots of space for storyteller and audience. Why the Waves Have Whitecaps is a sad and angry tale about Water and Wind in a fight on the coast, and the title story is a wry variation on a trickster tale. Perhaps most haunting, however, is Why the Dog Hates the Cat, a story of good friends who quarrel, with Collier's beautiful images showing the characters together and then alone. Thomas includes Hurston's sources for the stories, among them, ordinary people such as M. C. Ford, age 55, gardener, Florida. The audience will hear his voice. --Hazel Rochman Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Joyce Carol Thomas adapts a raft of folklore originally collected by Zora Neale Hurston in What's the Hurry, Fox? And Other Animal Stories, illus. by Brian Collier. The pourquoi tales told to Hurston by native Southerners (and compiled in Hurston's Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro Folk-tales from the Gulf States) explain such mysteries as "Why Donkey Has Long Ears" or "Why the Waves Have Whitecaps." The folksy voice of a storyteller pervades each tale and will draw in young readers; Collier's full-bleed collages and watercolors are every bit as satisfying, as he endows humans and animals alike with distinctive character. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-These animal pourquoi stories have been selected from Zora Neale Hurston's collection, Every Tongue Got to Confess. In her adaptations of the nine short tales (there are two versions of one of the stories), Thomas stays very close to the original text, making only minor word changes. Surprisingly, the selections never quite engage readers. With the exception of the Aesop-like "What's the Hurry, Fox?" and "Why the Waves Have Whitecaps," they come across as rather lackluster, and leave their audience with a sense that there must be more to the story. Even with Collier's wonderful double-page collage-and-watercolor illustrations, which invite closer inspection, this work will have limited appeal.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.