Jabuti the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale from the Amazon

Jabuti the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale from the Amazon

by Gerald McDermott

Paperback(First Edition)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, October 24


Of all the animals in the rain forest, Jabutí was the favorite. His shell was smooth and shiny, and the songs he played on his flute were sweet.
But his music was a reminder, too, of the mischievous pranks Jabutí sometimes played. His song reminded Tapir of being tricked, Jaguar of being fooled, and time and again it reminded Vulture that he had no song at all. When a concert takes place in heaven, Vulture offers to fly Jabutí there . . . all the while plotting a trick of his own.
Gerald McDermott makes myths new again for readers of all ages, using language as vibrant and colorful as his bold illustrations. Jabutí is an unusual tale of a trickster’s fall from grace, and of how creation can sometimes come from chaos.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780152053741
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 09/01/2005
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 418,800
Product dimensions: 11.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.15(d)
Lexile: AD600L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 7 Years

About the Author

GERALD MCDERMOTT (1941-2012) was an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator of books for children. A graduate of Pratt Institute in New York City and a lifelong artist, he began his career as an animated filmmaker before moving into the creation of children's books based on storytelling traditions from around the world. He was awarded the Caldecott Medal and two Caldecott Honors; his extensive and influential body of work includes six popular picture books focusing on the trickster motif. Devoted to oral tradition and the transformative power of mythology, he was the first Fellow of the Joseph Campbell Foundation and served as a consultant on mythology in education. www.geraldmcdermott.com

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A fine addition to the body of work by a proven master."—Kirkus Reviews

"Readers will revel in this whimsical folktale . . . McDermott's words paint beautiful stories and wonderful pictures."—Library Talk

"Color springs from the pages . . . Simply written and well paced, this will make an imaginative read-aloud choice for classroom units on the rain forest."—Booklist

"A simple yet lyrical tale that is as satisfying to hear as it is to read."
School Library Journal

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Jabuti the Tortoise 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
fatlamb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book states the first collection of Jabuti stories, from oral tradition of the Tupi-Guarani and other rain forest tribes in Brazil. The story is very short and simple to follow and understand. There is a tortoise who loves to play a flute and has tricked people through out the years for some services. The birds all really enjoy his flute playing since they sing to his flute playing. The vulture who does not like the tortoise promises the tortoise to take him up to heaven to play his flute and sing with the birds. On their way up through the sky the vulture purposely drops the tortoise. The tortoise lands on a rock and his shell goes flying in pieces. All the birds search for the tortoise, they find him, piece him together and those birds received color and the vulture stayed the same old gray ugly color. The tale is telling a creation story, how birds received all the colors they did. The illustrations are bold, bright, and very in your face...works both ways, they can be a bit overboard and annoying but at the same time it gives the story some life. Ages 5-9
Lauramel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Colorful and delightful tale of the Amazon. Lively book for a study of the Amazon and the animals that live there.
racheich on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book about a tortoise who plays beautiful music on his flute and the birds love it- except for the vulture who is jealous of his songs. The vulture agrees to take the tortoise to play for the King of Heaven. On the way, the vulture drops him and the tortoise's colorful shell breaks. His bird friends come to help him and glue his shell back together so he can go play for the King of Heaven.
salenawolfgoddess on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jabuti the Tortoise is about a tortoise playing a flute in the rainforest. His shell was shiny and his song was sweet, but not everyone though so. Vulture in particular was envious because he could not sing. One day when Jabuti was playing for the birds when they were invited to a festival in heaven. Jabuti wanted to go to and Vulture offered to take him but when they were high in the sky Vulture went upside down causing Jabuti to fall to the ground and break his shell. When all in heaven heard what happened all the birds went looking for Jabuti. Toucan, Hummingbird and Macaw found Jabuti and patched his shell back together and where they touched the pieces they gained new colors: Toucan a red and yellow beak, Hummingbird a green belly and Macaw orange feathers. Vulture stays dull and songless while Jabuti still plays his flute.It is a great picture book for kids but I felt it didn't have a well written plot.
ahernandez91 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jabuti is a mischievous, trickster turtle who is very talented at playing the flute. Some of his songs remind different animals of tricks that Jabuti played on them, but the birds, the birds- all except the vulture- loved the music Jabuti played. The vulture didn't like it because it ermines him that he could not sing, so the vulture played a trick of his on on Jabuti because he was jealous. He said he was going to bring Jabuti to play for the King of Heaven, but instead tried to hurt him. This isn't a book that I would read to my class aloud, but it would be a nice book to keep for free time reading. I absolutely loved the bright, colorful illustrations.
CamilaDeVeau on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Jabuti, the tortoise, owned a flute and played it in the forest where he lived. His music produced a beautiful sound, however, sometimes Jabuti did not use his music for beauty, he used his music to trick many of the land animals who grew frustrated with his antics. On the other hand, Jabuti did not trick the birds ¿ the animals of the sky and they loved listening to his music. All except Vulture that is, who was did not have any song himself and was eagerly waiting for a chance to trick Jabuti into being his dinner. One day, the King of Heaven called all the birds to a festival and Jabuti wanted to join in on the festival and play his music for the King. Vulture saw this as his chance to trick Jabuti and invited him to ride on his back to the festival in Heaven. Jabuti foolishly took the opportunity and was thrown off Vulture¿s back on the ascent to the heavens and smashed to his death on a rock. When the King of Heaven found out this terrible deed, the birds came together to help Jabuti, but, will they be able to fix him? Will he be able to heal?Teaching Implications: Jabuti The Tortoise a Trickster Tale from the Amazon comes from a series of folktales in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil. There are many tales about Jabuti, who, though small and slow, is able to defeat many animals much larger and stronger than him because of his clever ways. This story could be used to teach the about the different traditions in the Amazon and discuss the tribes in the rainforest and their customs.This book also could be used to pose many different questions about fairness and revenge. One question that could be discussed with this book is: Why is it okay for Jabuti to trick many of the creatures of the forest but it is not okay for Vulture to trick him? Why does Jabuti get to join in on the festival just because he can play music, why can¿t other animals be apart of the festival? Is it okay to seek revenge on someone simply because they have something you want? Though a folktale passed down from generation to generation, Jabuti can pose many questions people and appropriate and inappropriate actions.
nzfj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Library Thing part C¿#4 of 10 Traditional Literature Motif Trickery 4McDermott, Gerald. Jabuti¿ the Tortoise: a Trickster Tale from the Amazon. San Diego: Harcourt, 2001. Print. Jabuti the Tortoise: a Trickster Tale from the Amazon is part of a series: Zomo the Rabbit, Raven, Coyote, Papagayo by Gerald McDermott that explore the trickster myths in folk literature. Jabuti (zha-boo-CHEE) is the central character (a turtle), in many Amazon rain forest tribal stories. ¿The first collection of Jabuti stories, from the oral tradition of the Tupi-Guarani and other rain forest tribes, was compiled by Charles Frederick Hartt and published in Rio de Janeiro in 1875 under the title Os Mitos Amazonicos da Tartaruga¿ (McDermott 2). The author has retold the Jabuti story with mesmerizing illustrations that are integral to the text. His media is gouache, colored pencil, colored ink on 300lb hot press Arches watercolor paper. The greens for the forest and birds are rich viridian contrasted against a warm pink background. Some blues, purples, and reds are high lights for the leaves and the birds reflect the forest colors but with more reds and purples. The colors jump off the page and grab the reader¿s attention. Jabuti is a gifted flute player and appears to be mellow and gentle, not a trickster bone in him. But it seems he is not all that naïve, his music has some magic that can trick animals into doing something they don¿t want to do. Jaguar thinks Jabuti¿s song is sour. ¿Jaguar could remember when Jabuti tricked him into chasing his own tail¿ (6). Lizard is the second forest creature to be tricked by Jabuti and doesn¿t like to listen to his music. The turtle tricked Lizard into giving him a ride on Lizard¿s back. Lizard¿s serious face does not look happy as Japuti sits and is ridden about. Then there are the Tapir and the Killer Whale who were forced to play tug-of-war as Jabuti played his flute and watched; their tails were tied together and Tapir had to scramble to keep from being dragged into the ocean, while Whale had to swim hard to keep from being dragged onto land. No telling what the outcome was for the Tapir and the Whale but all the Birds loved to listen to Japuti¿s flute and even sang along with his music; except for the grim Vulture. He hated Japuti and wanted to eat him. The King of Heaven planned a festival with much music and invited all the Birds to join him in heaven. He also invited Japuti to play his flute. The sinister Vulture pretends kindness and offers to fly Jabuti to the festival. While flying, Vulture spins upside down and causes Japuti to fall down into the rain forest. His shell cracks into pieces and he is left helpless until the birds come to rescue him. They find all the parts of his shell and patch them back and once his shell is whole he is able to move about and plays a thank you song. The magic song turns Toucan¿s beak into a bright color, Macaw `s feathers are turned vibrant, and Hummingbird¿s belly is turned iridescent. The pattern of three, is one of the folktale elements, seen with Toucan, Macaw, and Hummingbird, with determination and perseverance, (folktale character elements) they heal Japuti. The pattern of three is also seen at the beginning of the story with the three mischief-making trickster occasions Japuti plays on Jaguar, Lizard, and Tapir/Whale. The trickster role reveals deception, greed, suffering, and death but also creativity and intelligence(Rosenberg 7). There are two tricksters present in this story: Japuti and Vulture. Japuti shows deception with Jaguar, Lizard, and Tapir/Whale but also shows creativity and merriment with his flute music among the bird kingdom. Vulture displays jealousy and hatred towards Japuti and wants to kill him. He does deceive Japuti and almost causes his death. Two other folktale elements would be appearances are deceiving and the repetition of contrasts and opposites. Who would believe that a small slow m
Anonymous More than 1 year ago