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<< Back to Chukfi Rabbit's Big, Bad Bellyache

Chukfi Rabbit's Big, Bad Bellyache

Shelf Awareness for Readers

"Greg Rodgers's (One Dark Night in Oklahoma) trickster tale delivers an entertaining life lesson about good neighborly behavior with a large helping of humor.

He sets the scene with a storyteller's inflection: 'Down here in Choctaw Country most folks'll tell you that Chukfi Rabbit is lay-zeeee.' Leslie Stall Widener's (Why Would Anyone Wear That?) watercolors enhance the protagonist's predominant characteristic, as he naps among the dandelions, wearing a smart purple jacket. Folks know to watch their food when Chukfi is near: 'Blink once and it'll all be gone.' When Ms. Shukata Possum asks Chukfi to help her build a new house, he declines—until Ms. Shukata promises 'dinner with fresh homemade butter for everyone who helps.' Widener depicts a charming cast of helpers and the mouthwatering meal that awaits as their reward, including tanchi labona ('a Choctaw kind of corn stew').

Rodgers revels in the sounds of the industrious team: Kinta Beaver saw-saw-sawing and Nita Bear using Luksi Turtle's hard shell for her ham-ham-hammering. Chukfi, meanwhile, claims he's sick, and sneaks pawfuls of the tub of homemade butter in the coldwater spring. He magically heals after the house is completed, and magnanimous Ms. Shukata invites him to dine anyway. With the hostess's discovery of the missing butter, Chukfi plants evidence to cast suspicion on poor Nita Bear! 

Rodgers adds originality to the classic trickster structure through his onomatopoeic sounds of the animals working and dining, as well as Choctaw names for the characters, while Widener's expressions on the animals convey their camaraderie--as well as Chukfi's mischievous ways."
- Jennifer M. Brown, July 18, 2014  Visit Website

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