I am eternally grateful... for my knack of finding in great books, some of them very funny books, reason enough to feel honored to be alive, no matter what else might be going on.
-- Kurt Vonnegut (1922 - ), Timequake, 1997

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Beginning readersYoung readersElementary readersUpper elementary readers
7 stars

Why the Tides Ebb and Flow

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by Joan Chase Bowden     Illus. by Marc Brown
Normal-length Picture Book
Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Boston Globe-Horn Book Award

An old woman wants the Sky Spirit to build her a house, but he complains that he is too busy. When she asks if she can have a rock for her shelter, he carelessly tells her to just take one. So she decides to take the one that happens to be covering the hole in the sea. When the water begins to drain from the ocean, Sky Spirit panics and tries to get the old woman to put the rock back.

This is an amusing story that not only explains where tides came from, but where people came from and even why dogs' noses are wet and cold! I had fun reading this to my students, who enjoyed the story and sound effects in the story. The pictures are by Marc Brown, who became famous for the "Arthur" books. His drawings of the people are interesting because one is not used to seeing such natural-looking art from this illustrator, but the dog drawings will definitely remind you of his other books. Pretty good origin story overall.

(Last modified:09/01/2007)

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