When Birds Could Talk & Bats Could Sing

When Birds Could Talk & Bats Could Sing

The Adventures of Bruh Sparrow, Sis Wren, and Their Friends

Book - 1996
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A collection of stories, featuring sparrows, jays, buzzards, and bats, based on those African American tales originally written down by Martha Young on her father's plantation in Alabama after the Civil War.
Publisher: New York : Blue Sky Press, 1996
ISBN: 9780590473729
Branch Call Number: J 398 H18W
J 398 H18W
Characteristics: 63 p. : col. ill. ; 32 cm
Additional Contributors: Moser, Barry - Illustrator


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FindingJane Dec 09, 2016

This book delighted me with its unknown stories and quirky endings. I was also quite taken with its colorful illustrations. Looking like Audubon creations, only with hats, cigars and other anthropomorphic touches, each bird is distinct in its representation and they all play their parts in the various stories. The ones about poor Bat giving up its brilliant feathers and beautiful singing voice to become the dull creature it is today are particularly cutting.

Humans make their appearance, too, in the form of Alcee Lingo, a small boy who’s a bit of a rascal but more of a regular human just trying to make his way in the world. But it’s the birds and bats who take the attention for they are cunning or stupid, sly or innocent, helpful or hindering—just like human beings.

If you’re looking for different kinds of folktales, these cante fables are just the ticket. They are meant to be read and read aloud, so they will appeal to young children.


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