The Legend of the Bluebonnet and Jamie O’Rourke and the Pooka by Tomie dePaola

The Legend of the BluebonnetThe Legend of Bluebonnet explains how the blue wild flowers known as bluebonnets found in Texas came to be. It is based on Comanche folklore and centers around the sacrifices of a young orphaned girl, She-Who-Is-Alone. Her tribe is facing drought and famine. A shaman brings a message-the people have been taking from the Earth without giving back. Now the people must sacrifice something of value. Others in the village must not have truly heard the message because they believe that the spirits can not possibly want what they have. Even though it seems as if she has nothing to give because she has already lost everything, She-Who-Is-Alone offers something very special in order to save her tribe.

Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka (Picture Puffins)Jamie O’Rourke and the Pooka is an Irish tale about a lazy man who is left at home for a few days. His wife prepares meals in advance for him and only wants him to clean his dishes and keep up with the housework. Instead, Jamie invites friends over and they eat heartily and make a huge mess. Of course Jamie does not clean up, he goes to bed and leaves the mess to sit. In the night a Pooka arrives and cleans the house. The magical Pooka returns for a few nights in a row, but Jamie is pressing his luck.

Tomie dePaola is an illustrator and writer of many children’s books. As a kid I loved his stories and his paintings. The first that I remember reading were his Strega Nona stories and the story of his first box of Crayola Crayons.

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