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Is My Friend at Home?
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Is My Friend at Home? - Honors & Full Reviews


  • Notable Books for Children, Smithsonian Magazine
  • Nominee, Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award, Kansas Reading Association
  • Children's Books of Distinction 2002, The Riverbank Review
  • Illustrators 44, 44th Annual Exhibition Of American Illustration, The Society of Illustrators, New York, New York


Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

This delightful and unusual collection of trickster tales was originally told in the Hopi pueblos of Arizona in the wintertime, "especially after dark when the Sun was traveling under the earth." Watson's light-hearted illustrations, many dusted with snow, capture both the moods and the settings of the tales, a world unexpectedly reminiscent of Wind in the Willows, with its cozy animal friendships, intrigues, and small adventures. Framed with traditional beginnings ("Shall I begin? YES") and endings ("Now that's the story"), seven short, interconnected stories tell of the friendships between Coyote, Badger, Mouse, Beetle, Mole, Snake, Dove, and Bee. Many are pourquoi stories, but the emphasis is on the animal characters and their relationships. In "Why a Mouse Walks Softly," for example, Coyote and Beetle, tired of Mouse's chatter and boasting, decide to "tangle" their friend up with a song that lets her know how noisy she has been. "From then on Mouse walked softly. And she is still doing it." In "Beetle'sNew Life," Badger and Mole save Beetle-Badger with his medicine and Mole by building up his fire. With their lively dialogue, colorful expressions ("breath of friendship," "white dawn," "sound of healing") and understated humor, these tales will be wonderful to read aloud and to discuss. A detailed note on sources is included.

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Horn Book, Starred Review

... Although each of these stories is pithy, fleet, and comical, collectively they treat friendship as a multifaceted phenomenon that can endure rivalries, deceptions, resentments – and worse... [The illustrations] capture the spirit of these disarmingly absurd, unexpectedly touching tales...

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Riverbank Review

... Renowned editor and translator John Bierhorst retells seven Hope trickster tales in this spare and luminous collection... warm-hearted illustrations place the stories within the context of the Pueblo culture and convey their richly comic mood...

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