retold and illustrated by Teri Sloat
School Library Journal: This hardy perennial
of a storyteller's repertoire has its singsong back. The appeal
of the story is its wonderful repetition and rhythm that can lure
even the shyest listener into chanting along. The folksy, autumnal
drawings create a mountainside settlement filled with cheerful rawboned
people, curiously irritable animals and whimsical flora.
Booklist: The bountiful drawings, filled
with the colors of autumn, have an exaggerated and rustic quality
befitting a tale that has engaging humor, rhythm and repetition.
Librarians will want to have this energetic picture book on hand
for story times.
Publisher's Weekly: Sloat's version features
detail-rich illustrations that fill every inch of space. The artist
sets the mood with a cornucopia of autumnal colors against parchment,
then frames the scenery with borders of lashed-together saplings.
On the closing page there's even a biscuit recipe
Kirkus: Sloat adds a few touches of her
own and closes the book with a folksy recipe for baking soda biscuits
illustrations capture the boisterous energy of the story.
About the Book
We have a cabin way up a hill in the Trinity Mountains
in California, and until last year, there was a store at the bottom
of the hill by the highway. The road from the cabin to the store
was dirt, and if we forgot something we walked down the road and
back up to get what we needed. We've seen bear tracks, bear droppings
and trees that bears have scratched. So when I heard the story of
Sody Sallyratus (baking soda) at a story-telling festival, I could
see the pictures.
As happens in retellings, I added to the story and
changed it just a little. The squirrel is the boss, and the bear
gets away in the end. He doesn't explode. I also have him living
in a berry patch, because that is where bears like to be.
Be sure to try the recipe for biscuits on the last
page! I tried recipes that came from history books about eating
on the wagon trains, as well as from fancier recipes from people
living close enough to town to have good ingredients, and came up
with the recipe as a combination. They are a little different than
the biscuits that come from the Bisquick box, but they are so good
with butter and honey.