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- Jose Lucio, self-published author of Heave Ho!

2.14.2011

Jump! The Adventures of Brer Rabbit (1986)

Jump!: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit (Books for Young Readers)
Written by Joel Chandler Harris

Adapted by Van Dyke Parks and Malcolm Jones

Illustrated by Barry Moser

Watercolor and ink on Fabriano Classico
Text type set in Cochin by Thompson Type
Display type set in John Peters' Castellar
Designed by Joy Chu and Barry Moser

Harcourt Brace

"People will talk," begins the Storyteller's Note, "and as long as they do, they will tell each other stories."

This is the first volume of a trilogy of retellings of traditional Brer Rabbit stories, illustrated by the great Barry Moser and adapted by Van Dyke Parks and Malcolm Jones.  It includes:

The Comeuppance of Brer Wolf
Brer Fox Goes Hunting but Brer Rabbit Bags the Game
Brer Rabbit Finds His Match
Brer Rabbit Grossly Deceives Brer Fox
The Moon in the Millpond

Also included is the score of an original song written by Van Dyke Parks, "Hominy Grove."

Off the wall, wallflower.  Now the dance has begun.  It's our shining hour til all our dancin' is done.

In all three books, Barry Moser’s medium of choice is watercolor. His illustrations are the definition of jaunty. He pays great attention to their clothing – their top hats and suits which look like they were purchased a decade ago and sit in a dusty closet awaiting Sunday morning. I could easily imagine Woody Guthrie hitching his way through this Hominy Grove, on his way to an open box car.

The Storyteller's Note ends with:

Tempered by hardship and nourished by hope, these tales are a testament to the belief that no one can be wholly owned who does not wish it.

Please read Tales and Their Tellers 4: The Signifyin' Rabbit for more on this series of books.

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