In some ways this hearkens back to an earlier era, where episodic stories occasionally advanced the arc but more frequently had our character confronting their individual issues with their morphing capabilities.Recent books have me accustomed to subplots moving the arc forward.
Still, the use of Mertil as a pawn in the Visser’s latest Saturday morning cartoon villain scheme belies the disability education agenda here—there are a lot more interesting ways to introduce and use a disabled character in a children’s and young adult book; this approach is both heavy-handed and rather unimpressive. Like, it’s not at all subtle to my 27-year-old eyes in 2017, though I’m sure as a kid I didn’t pick up on anything at all.
Much like my friend Julie, the gay-coding of Gafinil and Mertil’s “friendship” because an openly-gay relationship probably wouldn’t be allowed by Scholastic at the time is … I also concur wholeheartedly with Julie’s last line, wherein she observes that “the status quo is left the same as before”.
The father-and-son storytelling team behind Raccoon’s Last Race and Turtle’s Race with Beaver return with their version of a traditional Iroquois tale.
While the Bruchacs reach back hundreds of years for the source of their story, Newman’s influences are comparatively modern—think Mary Blair with a touch of Hanna-Barbera.
Set back when Rabbit had a “very long, beautiful tail,” the story follows the selfish, impatient animal’s attempts to conjure a massive midsummer snowstorm (rabbit’s big snowshoe-like feet allow him to hop atop the snow and reach “tasty leaves and buds” more easily).
His chanting and drumming do the trick, creating so much snow that it covers the treetops and causes difficulties for the small animals; the summer sun that rises the next day, however, brings about rabbit’s comeuppance and costs him his tail.
When rabbit decides that it should snow early, he starts his dance and the snow begins to fall.
The other forest animals are not happy and ask him to stop, but Rabbit doesn’t listen.
Is it Ax accidentally caught on tape, have the Andalites finally arrived, or is it a trap set by Visser Three to flush out the ‘Andalite bandits’?