Little Runner of the Longhouse by Betty Baker
Little Runner of the Longhouse by Betty Baker. Illustrated by Arnold Lobel (USA)- (Canada)
An I Can Read Book
Pages: 63 pages
Finished: May 21, 2010
First Published: 1962
Publisher: Harper & Row
Genre: children, easy reader
It was cold in the longhouse.
Acquired: Bought and own a copy.
Reason for Reading: Ds read this aloud to me as his reader.
This easy reader starts off with introducing us to Little Runner's way of life in the Indian village, eventually leading up to telling us that today is New Years Day for them. The older children play a game involving masks and an old woman with a basket where they go from longhouse to longhouse asking for maple sugar. The alternative is, if a family does not give maple sugar each boy may take something from them. The indigenous game has some similarities to the traditional roots of modern day Hallowe'en. Of course, Little Runner wants to play, too, but Mother says he is still to little so he cooks up a plan where he has taken Little Brother from Mother and won't give him back until she gives him some maple sugar. Of course, Mother can play the game too and it's quite a funny predicament Little Runner finds himself him.
This is a fun story. We had previously learned about longhouses when we studied Indians last year so ds was pointing things out in the pictures he would not have otherwise noticed or known. He thought Little Runner's idea of taking Little Brother was hilarious. The story is quite simple, but the use of repetition makes it fun and, of course, works on those reading skills. Lobel's artwork is as always just as expected from him. Except for the round baby faces on Little Runner & Brother, the adult Indians have been drawn realistically and respectfully. Recommended but unfortunately is out of print at this time. It is easy enough to find secondhand copies though.