Book Review: The First Strawberries

Book Review: The First Strawberries

The First Strawberries is a rare find. The book is Joseph Bruchac’s retelling of a Cherokee story that answers the question, “How did strawberries come to be?”

In the legend, the first man and woman separate after an argument. The man, realizing he spoke in anger, follows the woman after she walks away. When she quickly outpaces him, the Sun offers his help by allowing berries to grow in her path. She is too angry to see the blueberries and raspberries before her, but finally looks down when strawberries appear before her. It’s then that she stops, thinking to herself that the man would enjoy them, and eventually the two reunite.

At first glance, this beautifully illustrated book is simply a tale about strawberries. But the lesson learned is much deeper: celebrating the value of relationships and the importance of treating one another with respect.

It’s a beautiful read with a sweet message. A mix of words and images, it’s a slow enough story to settle down little ones before bed, or to teach them a lesson in managing their emotions. By the end, strawberries become a wonderful way to show them how to treat a friend.

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