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The Rough-Face Girl
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About the Author

Rafe Martin is an internationally known, award-winning author and storyteller. His books and tapes have received national and regional acclaim, including: ALA Notable Children's Book distinction, Parent's Choice Gold Awards, the Anne Izard Storytellers Choice Award, and Honor Book for the 1994 Texas Bluebonnet Award. His work as a storyteller has been cited by the Women's National Book Association, which presented him with the Lucille Micheels Pannell Award for his "unique creativity and effectiveness in bringing children and books together."

As a noted storyteller and speaker, Rafe Martin has been featured at many prestigious events and institutions such as the National Storytelling Festival, the American Booksellers Association National Convention, the American Library Association Annual Conference, the Whole Language Umbrella Annual Conference, the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference, the American Museum of Natural History, the Vassar College Summer Institute on Children's Book Publishing, to name just a few; as well as countless schools, libraries, whole language, TESOL, and reading association events around the United States and as far away as Japan.Rafe Martin is dedicated to creating literature that empowers children's imaginations. Drawing on the world's tradition of tales, as well as a growing number of his original stories, he seeks to pass on the storyteller's primary gifts: faith in the creative imagination and in the power of wish and dream; awareness of the interrelation of all living things; respect for the vision of the earth's many cultures; and delight in the mysteries of language--mere sounds on the air, or squiggles on paper--which allow us to use our own minds to see. Language and stories, he feels, are not only our oldest technologies but our most precious resources. How can T.V. begin to compare!Rafe Martin has a Masters Degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto, where he studied with such noted figures as Northrop Frye and Marshall McLuhan. He and his wife, Rose, used to own and manage the Ox Cart Book Shop in Rochester, New York. It was here that Rafe Martin first began to explore his talent and skills in storytelling to which he now devotes his time. The Martins live in Rochester, New York, with their Siberian Husky, and two cats. They also have two grown children. When not working, Rafe often goes to his cabin in the Adirondacks. Situated on a river, it allows him to practice his favorite sport--kayaking.copyright (c) 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

Reviews

Gr 3 Up-- Simply, in the words of an oral storyteller, Martin retells an Algonquin folktale. The youngest of three sisters is forced by the other two to sit by the fire and feed the flames, which results in the burning and scarring of her hair and skin. Desirous of marriage to an Invisible Being who lives in a huge wigwam across the village, these cruel siblings must prove to his sister that they have seen him, but they fail. The Rough-Face Girl, however, sees the Invisible Being everywhere and can answer his sister's questions correctly. Comparable in presentation to Caroline Cunningham's ``The Little Scarred One'' from The Talking Stone (Knopf, 1939; o.p.; reprinted in Castles and Dragons , Crowell, 1958; o.p.), but different in detail, this is a splendid read-aloud. It is the only single illustrated version available. Shannon's finely crafted full- and double-page acrylic paintings in the rich hues of the earth embody the full flavor of the story. His stunning cover portrait shows at one glance both the girl's beauty and her frightful scars. Another in the recent succession of Cinderella stories, The Rough-Face Girl begs for comparison with Princess Furball (Greenwillow, 1989), Tattercoats (Putnam, 1989), Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters (Lothrop, 1987), Moss Gown (Clarion, 1987), etc., and will provide both entertainment and a cultural lesson.-- Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH

In this Algonquin Indian version of the Cinderella story, two domineering sisters set out to marry the ``rich, powerful, and supposedly handsome'' Invisible Being, first having to prove that they can see him. They cannot, but their mistreated younger sister the Rough-Face Girl--so called because the sparks from the fire have scarred her skin--can, for she sees his ``sweet yet awesome face'' all around her. He then appears to her, reveals her true hidden beauty and marries her. Shannon ( How Many Spots Does a Leopard Have? ) paints powerful, stylized figures and stirring landscapes, heightening their impact with varied use of mist, shadows and darkness. His meticulous research is evident in intricate details of native dress and lodging. In places, though, he struggles with the paradox of illustrating the invisible--an eagle, tree, cloud and rainbow form the face of the Invisible Being in one disappointingly banal image. For the most part, however, the drama of these haunting illustrations--and of Martin's ( Foolish Rabbit's Big Mistake ) respectful retelling--produce an affecting work. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

"A strong, distinctive tale with art to match." --Kirkus Reviews (pointer review)"A powerful retelling. . . . The text contains the cadences and rhythms of oral language, and the illustrations, dark and vivid, use earth tones and shadows to convey the drama of the text." --Horn Book"A splendid read-aloud." --School Library Journal"The drama of the haunting illustrations--and of Martin's respectful retelling--produce and affecting work." --Publishers Weekly"Striking . . . This will make an impact on youngsters in folklore units, Native American studies, and story hour sessions." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's BooksAn IRA Teacher's Choice BookA Parents Magazine Best Book of the YearWinner of the Georgia Children's Picture Storybook AwardWinner of Nebraska's Golden Sower Award

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