Sure as Sunrise
Author: Alice McGill
Illustrator: Don Tate
Published: April 22, 2004
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sure as Sunrise: Stories of Bruh Rabbit and his Walkin’ Talkin’ Friends features a host of walking, talking animals. Stories like these originated in Africa, crossed the middle passage and were brought to America through those captured and enslaved. Memories of the homeland combined with new experiences on the plantation which bore a whole body of folktales. These stories were told and retold for generations to come. Slave storytellers would tell the adventures of Brer/Brah Rabbit, the clever trickster and his animal friends. As art reflects life, these animal characters possessed the human-like qualities and personalities of the people found on the plantation.
I had the true honor of illustrating Alice McGills retelling of these stories. McGill is an award-winning storyteller, scholar and writer. She has a fun, down-home, folksy style of writing and has a great sense of humor. I laughed my way through this manuscript.
*Starred Review* “Based on clay models, the animal characters in human clothes are reminiscent of puppets in the big, clear oil-and-acrylic illustrations; their body language and exaggerated expressions are wonderful as they question, scheme, rage, and–sometimes–outwit the powerful. The combination of trickster fun, historical truth, and personal storytelling tradition makes this a winner.” -BOOKLIST
*Starred Review* “Done in acrylic paint on textured paper, the mostly full-page illustrations are filled with vivid colors and details. Tate captures the personality of each of the characters, as well as the humor inherent in these stories. Varying the perspectives keep the action moving. ” -SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
“McGill’s lively and warm dialect will tickle a new generation of listeners. …Don Tate’s engaging, jovial illustrations bring the stories to life.” -AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
“The stories are heavy on country wisdom: in ‘Bruh Possum and the Snake,’ a kind possum helps a sly serpent, who repays him with a bite. The lesson? ‘No matter how good your heart, if you ever spot trouble, don’t never trouble trouble if trouble don’t trouble you.’ ” -PUBLISHERS WEEKLY