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Book Title: The Favorite Uncle Remus|
The author of the book: Joel Chandler Harris
ISBN 13: 9780395068007
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 881 KB
Edition: HMH Books for Young Readers
Date of issue: January 30th 1973
Read full description of the books The Favorite Uncle Remus:These are great to read aloud with a child. (Difficult to read with the dialect, but worth it.) I do wish I could hear someone else read them well, though. Anyway, it is fascinating to read these stories and think about the relationship of this old slave to his young master. The child accepts it all so casually, but of course, he's the one writing the story. Still, he is somewhat sympathetic to his older friend and we get a portrait that is revealing despite its limitations.
I love the creative use of language. The stories about with fabulous words, but the one that immediately pops into my mind is "oozle." It's a verb to describe how smoke moves out of Uncle Remus's mouth and nose as he tells a story. This is not a misuse of an existing word, but a creative melding of ooze and drizzle that is far more descriptive than the original. The Uncle Remus character does this frequently in the stories and they enhance the telling and give him greater authority as a creator not only of stories, but of language itself.
Aside from the framework of the stories, the tales themselves are hilarious! I laughed out loud at the "Brer Rabbit Gets a Home." Others have funny moments as well, but so far, that's my favorite.
OK, having just finished the book... I don't know what happened at the end, but suddenly the stories became overtly violent and a bit less charming. They lost the give and take of the other stories and became pretty harsh. It felt almost like they were written before the earlier ones. It seemed that they hadn't been refined or something.
Still, I really enjoyed this book and the humor is perfect for the 8-10 year old crowd. The physical humor and the theme of the little guy getting away with being a weasel is very much appreciated by that age group. Makes me wonder if Looney Tunes just took Brer Rabbit straight from these tales and ran with it.
By the way, these stories are also interesting for adults. They give an insight into stories shared among slaves during difficult times. Despite having nothing of their own, as property themselves, they created a canon of stories that tell of triumph and struggle. Even in the humor, there is a tinge of sadness. Each joke comes at someone else's expense. Still, the stories grip the listener and like the boy, the reader hangs on every word to find out how it will end.
Makes me think of a quote from Toni Morrison's book, Sula: "The black people watching her would laugh and rub their knees, and it would be easy for the valley man to hear the laughter and not notice the adult pain that rested somewhere under the eyelids, somewhere under their head rags and soft felt hats, somewhere in the palm of the hand, somewhere behind the frayed lapels, somewhere in the sinew's curve." These stories, despite their surface simplicity, tell of a life that is complicated by hardship and survival and of the strength of a people that could create them in the midst of such a world.
Read information about the authorJoel Chandler Harris was an American journalist born in Eatonton, Georgia who wrote the Uncle Remus stories, including Uncle Remus; His Songs and His Sayings, The Folk-Lore of the Old Plantation, (1880), Nights with Uncle Remus (1881 & 1882), Uncle Remus and His Friends (1892), and Uncle Remus and the Little Boy (1905).
The stories, based on the African-American oral storytelling tradition, were revolutionary in their use of dialect and in featuring a trickster hero called Br'er ("Brother") Rabbit, who uses his wits against adversity, though his efforts do not always succeed. The frog is the trickster character in traditional tales in Central and Southern Africa. The stories, which began appearing in the Atlanta Constitution in 1879, were popular among both Black and White readers in the North and South, not least because they presented an idealized view of race relations soon after the Civil War. The first published Brer Rabbit stories were written by President Theodore Roosevelt's uncle, Robert Roosevelt.
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