BOOK REVIEWS

Bruh Rabbit And The Tar Baby Girl Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-01-14 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 6 user ratings
ISBN:059047376X
LANGUAGE:English

"This book was an interesting folktale. It had some different vocabulary in it that was at times, something I had never heard used before, but was not difficult to figure out the meaning when used in context of the story. Some examples of this vocabulary include nary, daylean, dayclean, and sidles. Outside of the context of this book I would never know what these words are. The ending of the story surprised me a little bit. The entire time I was reading the book, I was expecting Bruh Rabbit to be taught a lesson. As it turned out, Bruh Rabbit tricked the wolf again just as I thought the wolf had caught him. It was a little bit frustrating to me because I know in real-life situations, if there are individuals who are cheating the system or not putting in as much work as I am, I want to see them get what they deserve, but it always seems that right when you think they have been caught they get out of their punishment. Thats just what happened to Bruh Rabbit. It mades me think a little differently about this story when I read about how the slaves thought of themselves as Bruh Rabbit. This makes me almost root for Bruh Rabbit and hope for him to get away. It all depends on how to intrepret the story. " said.

"Grade/Interest Level: Kdg-1st grade
Reading Level: 390 L
Genre: Traditional Literature

Characters: Bruh Rabbit, Bruh Wolf
Setting: The briar patch
POV: Third Person

Summary: Award winning author Virginia Hamilton gives her rendition of the folklore Br'er or Bruh Rabbit and the Tar baby. The story of Br'er, derived from brother, rabbit, can be traced back to Africa, and also has deep roots in the south, which Hamilton shows in the southern dialect used by the characters in the story. Bruh Rabbit is usually portrayed in stories outsmarting authority figures, and doing things he should not be doing. In this particular story, Bruh Rabbit is smuggling food from Bruh Wolf's garden. When Bruh Wolf stages a scarecrow in the garden, Bruh Rabbit realized it's not real and is still able to steal food. In order to catch and punish Bruh Rabbit, Wolf then stages a tar baby girl. Bruh Rabbit comes into the garden from behind, and thinks the tar baby is a real girl. He tries to get her attention, but when she doesn't respond he attempts to hit her only to find that his hands get stuck. He continues to try to hit her, because she won't "let him go" and ends up getting completely stuck to her. Soon, Bruh Wolf comes out and sees Bruh Rabbit who pleads, "Please Bruh Wolf, don't throw me into the Briar patch." Wolf is tricked into thinking this is a horrible punishment for Bruh Rabbit, and throws him in anyway, only to hear Bruh Rabbit laugh as he has once again escaped punishment and outsmarted the Wolf.

I would use this in a classroom to discuss plot, and to make predictions. It can be used also to explore folktales and traditional literature. It can also be used to discuss vocabulary words, as I am sure that tar will be a word that is unfamiliar to these students. After discussing this word, students will then understand why Bruh Rabbit gets attached to the tar baby. I think the book is a good read aloud book, and we can also discuss the character's accents.
" said.

" I didn't care for this all that much because I realized Bruh Rabbit is lazy jerk! I've heard variations of this tale over the years, but it didn't dawn on me until I read this particular book that Bruh Rabbit is the villian. Yet kids will probably think he's the hero of the story. He doesn't work, steals, and lies. Boo, Bruh Rabbit! Boo!The art is pretty good, though! " said.

" I'm going to try this as a read-aloud and hope that the authentic dialect doesn't trip me up. This story has more depth than other versions I've read. The relationship between the wolf and rabbit is more developed so that the tricking part of the story makes more sense - there's actually a reason behind it. " said.

" Bruh Rabbit doesn’t plant crops and sneaks corn and peanuts from Bruh Wolf instead. Trying to catch Rabbit stealing from him, Wolf sets up a trap. When that doesn’t work, Wolf creates Tar Baby so that Rabbit will really be stuck. When Wolf sees that Rabbit is caught, he thinks he has finally beaten Rabbit. But when Wolf throws Rabbit into the briar patch, which ends up outsmarted? " said.

"Virginia Hamilton was a master storyteller and her version of this classic southern tale absolutely sparkles! The voice is so strong, so enchanting, I didn't even need the illustrations. I felt I was being told a story -- I could hear an old woman's voice, the creek of a rocking chair on the porch, feel the sweet, clingy summer air, while the fireflies danced near enough to eavesdrop.

I loved the Brer Rabbit stories when I was a kid, and the tar baby was one of my favorites! This version (one of hundreds) is told in the heavy Gullah speech of the Sea Islands of South Carolina and features Bruh Wolf first building a scarey-crow to try to frighten Bruh Rabbit before he makes the tar baby girl. It features the famous "Please don't throw me in that briar patch!" that I loved so well as a kid--and that those of us who enjoy Disneyland's thrill rides know so well in that delicious moment before that great plunge on Splash Mountain! ;-)

Ransome's illustrations are very nice. I just didn't need them. The story felt that vivid to me.

While these trickster tales are all great fun, parents and educators might wish to discuss with children whether Bruh Rabbit was right to steal from Bruh Wolf and whether Bruh Wolf had a right to protect his crops. Interestingly, I used to always think Brer Rabbit was the hero, but in this particular version it seemed clear to me that he is not.
" said.

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