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How the Animals Got Their Colors: Animal Myths from Around the World

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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  6 reviews
How did the tiger get its stripes? Why does the coyote have yellow eyes? In simple, accessible language, Rosen retells folktales and myths from around the world describing wondrous transformations that explain how the animals got their colors. Full-color illustrations.
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 1st 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P (first published April 1991)
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Kristin Crockett
Title: How The Animals Got Their Colors
Author: Michael Rosen
Illustrator: John Clementson
Genre: Myth, Folklore
Themes: Animals, Uniqueness
Opening line/sentence:
Coyote is a wild dog. He thinks he’s so cunning, so clever.
Brief Book Summary: Using old myths and folktale stories passed down from long ago, Rosen explains how eight different animals got their colors and explains why they are the way they are today. He talks about how has the leopard always had black spots, what turned the dancing
...more
Emma Hoyer
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Literature Requirement: **Traditional Literature #1**

How the Animals Got Their Colors is a collection of short tales about various animals. Among the animals that are included are the coyote, the frog, the peacock, and others. Each story is unique, and there are a couple stories that have lessons within them. It’s clear that these tales came from oral tradition, and some are a little odd in the perspective of a modern audience. For example, the first story is about how the coyote got his angry,
...more
Chelsea Keopraseurt
How the Animals Got Their Colors is a collection of nine folktales from every continent. Each tale tells the origin story of how a specific animal came to be; why they act how they act, why they are the color they are, why they have stripes, etc. Every story is different, focusing on specific animal (a frog, a coyote, a fish, etc.). The story is vividly retold by Michael Rosen, with stunning and colorful illustrations by John Clemenston. At the end of the book, there is a section that explains ...more
Kennedy
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
"How the Animals Got Their Colors" is a group of different folk tales from different cultures that explain why certain animals look the way they do. The stories come from cultures all over the world; Central American, African, Indian, Asian, etc. This is an interesting book because it talks about how different cultures view things, and how that blends in with their story telling. The illustrations are also interesting. They are done in a very collage, cut and paste style. I feel like this book ...more
Kenzie Thompson
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rdng-350
How the Animals Got Their Colors is a collection of myths from around the world. It goes through animals like the coyote, the flying fish, the frog, the tiger, the brolga, the leopard, the peacock, and the crane and explains how and why they look like they do. The last story is a myth called How the Animals Got Their Colors and talks about how the sun made woman and man and painted all the animals. Some stories are Native American, some Indian, some Chinese, and some Greek.
I have always thought
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Fjóla
Jun 09, 2012 rated it liked it
I remember reading myths of this sort when I was a child and I'll have to say that in comparison I found these only average. I did like the tale about the Peacock and the one about the Tiger, but I couldn't find any rhyme or reason to some of the other ones. I wonder if some of them just don't translate well. See for instance the one about the Crane: I read it three times and I still didn't understand it.

This said, the stories held high interest for my six year old, and I made sure not to share
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Michael Rosen, a recent British Children’s Laureate, has written many acclaimed books for children, including WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, and I’M NUMBER ONE and THIS IS OUR HOUSE, both illustrated by Bob Graham. Michael Rosen lives in London.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.