Tuesday, January 17, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] Princess Scargo and the Birthday Pumpkin by Eric Metaxas

Title:  Princess Scargo and the Birthday Pumpkin

Author:  Eric Metaxas

Artist:  Karen Barbour

Genre: Native American / Birthday / Folktale / Sacrifice

Year Published: 1992

Year Read: 1993

Series:  American Heroes and Legends

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Nothing Too Objectionable)

Buy on:  Amazon  //  Book Depository 

“Princess Scargo and the Birthday Pumpkin” is a wonderful tale from the genius minds of Rabbit Ears about a young Native American princess named Scargo who learns about the power of sacrificing the things you love to save the people you love.  Geena Davis’ tender narration along with Michael Hedges’ Native American inspired music and Karen Barbour’s beautiful illustrations makes “Princess Scargo and the Birthday Pumpkin” an instant classic for the young and old.

A drought came to the land and the ponds were dried up which made the Nabscuet tribe upset because they needed the fish to survive on.  So, Chief Segam called for a meeting and they decided to dig up a lake to withstand the drought, therefore, when the rains come, the hole will be filled up and a new lake would be created.  Everyone in the tribe helped out with the lake, except for Princess Scargo who could not work because she was a princess of a great chief.  Unfortunately, even though everyone tried to work on the lake, the fish continued to die.

Finally, the rains came and filled up the hole to that created a lake and everyone celebrated.  Unfortunately, it would be a long time before the fish returned to the lake and Princess Scargo was sad because she wanted to help out the tribe so badly.  As Princess Scargo went to the forest to stare at the fish in her birthday pumpkin, she got an idea and realized what she must do…

Geena Davis does a fantastic job at narrating this story of a heroic Native American girl who must sacrifice her most precious gift to save her people.  Geena Davis’ narration is extremely tender, making this story extremely pleasant to listen to.  Michael Hedges’ music is truly inspiring as he captures the true essence of Native American music as the music is deeply mesmerizing and magical.  Karen Barbour’s illustrations are beautiful and colorful, especially of the images of the birthday pumpkin with the images of all the animals in the forest being drawn on the outside and when the scenes came where they showed the inside of the pumpkin being filled with fish, the images were mesmerizing and beautiful at the same time.
“Princess Scargo and the Birthday Pumpkin” is a wonderful tale about the power of sacrificing the things you love to save the people you love and many children will enjoy this classic tale for many years to come.  I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there are some difficult words in this book that smaller children might have a hard time understanding, such as the names of the tribes.  Parents might want to help children understand the names of the tribes of the Indians by reading the names to them first.

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