— Book Review — “Sister Rabbit’s Tricks” Title: “Sister Rabbit’s Tricks” Author: Emmett “Shkeme” Garcia Illustrator: Victoria Pringle 40 pages, 18 color illustrations $18.95 ISBN: 978-0-8263-5268-2 Published: February 2013 Publisher: University of New Mexico Press, www.unmpress.com By Rosanne Boyett Beacon Staff Writer
Editor’s note: Book review articles are available online at www.cibolabeacon.com/bookreviews.
Many Native American traditional stories feature trickster animals. This book’s main protagonist, Sister Rabbit, exemplifies a number of those charlatan traits. The story introduces a character who learns a valuable lesson about how to get along in life. The author, Emmett “Shkeme” Garcia, has portrayed Sister Rabbit as a fast, cunning, and mischievous personality whose artful ploys are played out in a humorous manner among the animals who are fooled by her antics. The author describes how the buzzard, a scavenger bird, became bald and concludes, “Today, Buzzard does not have any more feathers on his head. He’s also very shy and embarrassed that his colorful feathers are gone.” Bear became Sister Rabbit’s next victim. And the Honey Bees also lost their trust in other creatures as a result of her tricks. And then Rabbit decided to try to fool Uncle Eagle. “When Eagle didn’t see any food, he pulled his head out of the hole and saw Sister Rabbit laughing at him,” according to the story. Uncle Eagle was very angry at being duped by a furry little rodent. He promised to avenge the insult. And after many days of trying to hide from Eagle, Sister Rabbit dug a hole in the forest to hide from Eagle. Her four paws were badly swollen from all of her near-escapes. The tale ends with a moral about respecting others. “Today, Sister Rabbit still enjoys visiting friends and relatives, but she has learned her lesson and does not plays tricks anymore,” wrote Garcia. And she has grown large ears and big feet to help her evade Buzzard, Bear, and Eagle who still chase her around the forest whenever the opportunity arises. Author Emmett “Shkeme” Garcia is a member of the Santa Ana Pueblo. He has also written “Coyote and the Sky,” another traditional tale shared by numerous Native American tribes. Illustrator Victoria Pringle created intricate cut-paper pictures for each page of this book. She collaborated with Garcia on “Coyote and the Sky” and used the same technique in her illustrations.