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How Chipmunk Got His Stripes
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How Chipmunk Got His Stripes

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  276 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
Bear brags that he can do anything-even stop the sun from rising. Brown Squirrel doesn't believe him, so the two wait all night to see if the sun will rise. Sure enough, the sky reddens and the sun appears. Brown Squirrel is so happy to be right that he teases Bear. What happens when a little brown squirrel teases a big black bear? Brown Squirrel gets stripes and is called ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 14th 2003 by Puffin Books (first published March 1st 2001)
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Just like with Joseph and James Bruchac's Turtle's Race With Beaver, the East Coast Native American porquoi type tale of How Chipmunk Got His Stripes shines especially with regard to the authors' storytelling, presenting once again a dramatic tale of excitement, paired with good, valuable morals and cautions against both boasting and teasing (with both Chipmunk and Bear learning valuable and also painful lessons, Bear with regard to his tendency towards arrogance and bragging and Chipmunk with r ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
How Chipmunk Got his Stripes is a fable about a bear and a brown squirrel. The bear thinks since he is so big and mighty that he can do anything. While bear is walking through the woods, he chants, “I am Bear, I am Bear. I can do anything. Yes I can!” A little brown squirrel hears bear claim that he can do anything and thus challenges him to not let the sun come up in the morning. Of course, Bear thinks he can do anything and says, “even the sun is scared of me.” That evening Bear tells the sun ...more
I'm reading this aloud tomorrow to help kick-off the culture unit for fables, folktales, fairy tales, and myths for Language Arts. Tomorrow's class is devoted to folktales and this is a fine example of a North American Native American folktale. Even though the illustrations are a bit juvenile, I think my class will like the story and it certainly demonstrates all of the elements of a folktale.
Mackenzie Wardle
Bear always walked around bragging about how big and strong he was. He thought he was better than any of the other animals. A little brown squirrel came up to bear and challenged him. The squirrel asked Bear to not make the sun rise the next day, since he could do everything. All night long Brown Squirrel and Bear sat there saying the sun will rise and the sun will not rise. Some of the other animals joined them in the watch. Then the sun rose; everyone was happy to see it except for Bear. Brown ...more
Leigh Chickering
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: rdng-350
This book tells the story about how the chipmunk got his stripes. The bear was bragging about how good and how wonderful he was and how he could do anything. So the brown squirrel asks him if he could make it so the sun doesn't come up and the bear says that he can. So they wait to see if the sun is going to rise and when it comes up, the squirrel starts to tease the bear because he was wrong. The bear got so angry that he began to chase the squirrel and try to eat him. The squirrel escapes, but ...more
Katie Foster
Feb 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: traditional-tale
I would love to use this story as part of a unit about pourquoi tales. I would use this book as interactive read aloud so that we could discuss key parts of the story that make it a pourquoi tale. Brown Squirrel bragged, Bear scratched him, and that’s how he got his stripes. After discussing that, I would assign groups to read another pourquoi story and to come up with a creative way to tell us how the story explained an animal’s traits. I also enjoyed this story because of the theme. The end of ...more
Nikki Morris
A great book to read what might happen if you take things too far with teasing. Bear roars and is sure of himself that the sun won't come up all through the book. Little squirrel states otherwise and in the end even with advice from family little squirrel has to have the last word. Bear with his strong personality plans to harm little squirrel. In the end, little squirrel wakes up looking like a chipmunk with stripes caused by bear.
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book as inspiration for my folktale, and I liked the how the author had engaged a lesson into this story. It was a good story to get ideas for a folktale, or fable, and I liked how the characters acted. I'd recommend this book for someone who is writing a myth, because the storyboard is a really good idea, and simple, to get ideas from.
Alexis Munk
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture, fiction
I like this book a lot. It teaches children not to tease. It also shows a lesson about bragging and being very boastful. The kids can see that chipmunk was not very nice to bear, even though bear was very boastful, so bear scratched him and that's how the chipmunk got his stripes.
Christine Smith
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edli-200
Title: How Chipmunk Got His Stripes

Author: Joseph Bruchac and James Bruchac

Goodreads Star Rating: 5

Categories/Genres: Traditional/Fable/Pourquoi

Copyright date: 2001

Estimate of age level of interest: K-3

Estimate of reading level: 2.9

Brief description:
When Bear and Brown Squirrel get into an argument over how much control Bear has over anything, the story becomes a moral tale about consequences surrounding bragging and teasing.

Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and dis
Maria Rowe
This is a short story, but I think there’s a lot to it. Here we have Brown Squirrel and Bear. Bear thinks he can do anything, so Brown Squirrel asks if he can make the sun not rise. They wait all night to see what happens, and when the sun rises, Brown Squirrel gloats that Bear was wrong, and a chase ensues. Bear nearly gets Brown Squirrel but not quite, although he does leave a claw marks down his back which become white stripes, hence Brown Squirrel becomes Chipmunk, and that’s how chipmunks g ...more
Abbey Jenkins
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: rdng-350
How Chipmunk Got His Stripes is an amusing tale about how a squirrel and bear interact with each other. In the beginning of the book, the bear is taunting the squirrel and the rest of the animals because he thinks he is the best. Then, the squirrel asked if the bear could cause the sun not to rise the next morning. The bear took this challenge, and the rest of the book is the falling out of what happened the next morning. I did not particularly care for this book because it was not scientificall ...more
Theresa Worona
this was an interesting fable about a squirrel and a bear who take bets on if the sun will rise or not in the morning. the bear loses the bet and ends up scratching the squirrel, so now he looks more like a chipmunk, which he seems to be okay with. i think this story would be good to read in early grades to teach the students about how to treat their friends and learn how to respect their opinions even if they are different from someone else's. the pictures in this book are very vivid and eye ca ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cvtc-kidlit
This was a cute story. It was a random one that I grabbed while looking in the 398 section. Brown squirrel challenges Bear about whether the sun will come up in the morning. It does and Bear is mad and decides to eat squirrel for making him look foolish. Squirrel asks to apologize before he gets eaten and runs away. As he runs away Bear makes a grab for Squirrel and leaves claw marks on his back making him Chipmunk. The book does a better job of telling the story! 😁
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This was a really great book that talked about being humble.

The bear says that there isn't anything he can't do. The squirrel says that he should tell the sun not to rise. They stay up all night and the sun rises. The squirrel starts bragging and gets scratched by the bear. He became a chipmunk because of the stripes.

How to use in a classroom:
This book could be useful to teach children to be humble and not brag or to think too highly of themselves
Kelsie Hutton
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this story. It was a fun and cute read. The art was adorable and made it easy to visualize how everything in the story happened. It also allowed for us to see the expressions on the animals faces. It also teaches a good lesson about how no one can be right about everything and how teasing someone is never a good idea.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun little tale! A sweet pourquoi story that answers the question "Why". It tells of a boastful bear and prideful brown squirrel and what can happen when you allow your temper to flare up. Great read aloud for my students!
Josh Bader
This engaging legend is illustrated with happy, colorful pages. The animals are expressive and the bear is not scary! Little children will love this story. I like it because I feel like it teaches young people how to be humble, and not cocky.
Rebecca Rikke
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
It does a good job explaining how the chipmunk got it's stripes, but it can also teach readers that bragging isn't a good thing to do. It's funny and cute. And it's a story that's been told for many years to the author.
Cerise Mallamo
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
this was a good book about morals and story telling in native American culture.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrensbooks
A just-so story from the Native American tradition
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids-books
Tori Bohling
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this story! I am definitely a fan of Bruchac now!
Elissa Tetrault
This story is a Native American folk tale that has been passed on for a long time. It is about a bear who claims he can do anything, including making the sun not rise. A little brown squirrel disagrees, saying that it will, in fact, rise. When it does, the squirrel bragged and teased the bear, which led to bear pouncing and scratching him, as the squirrel ran into his hole. When spring came again, the scratch had become a stripe, making squirrel a chipmunk, and the bear became the last animal to ...more
How Chipmunk Got his Stripes: A Tale of Bragging and Teasing
By Joseph Bruchac & James Bruchac,
Pictures by Jose Aruego an Ariana Dewey
Published by Dial Books, 2001
Level: K-3, Lexile: 260, Reading Level 2.9

The story begins with Bear, who brags about how strong he is and how he can do anything. But Brown Squirrel questions him and challenges him to tell the sun not to come up tomorrow. Bear insists that he does have the power to do this, but of course the sun rises the next day and Brown Squirr
Summary: Bear struts through the forest, bragging as he goes: "I am Bear. I am the biggest of all the animals. Yes, I am!-I can do anything. Yes, I can!" Little Brown Squirrel elects to challenge him: "Can you tell the sun not to rise tomorrow morning?" Bear accepts the challenge. As the sun sets, he issues his command and the two settle down to see what morning will bring. As the night progresses, the braggart continues to boast, and Squirrel cannot resist teasing. When the sun predictably rise ...more
Kelly Timian
• This story has been shared by many Eastern Native American storytellers in several different tribes including Cherokee, Iroquois, Abenaki, and Mohawk nations. The story begins with bear boasting about being the strongest, fiercest animal on land. Claiming that he can do anything, bear gets challenged by a brown squirrel to tell the sun not to rise in the morning. When bear fails at the task, squirrel teases him for being wrong. Bear retaliates by attempting to eat squirrel but only manages to ...more
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bear brags that he is the strongest and bravest alive, that he can do anything. Little brown squirrel asks if he's so powerful he can tell the sun not to rise in the morning and it will obey. Bear is certain that he is, and they both--along with all the other animals--wait all night to see whether the sun will, indeed, rise.

Brown squirrel should have quit while he was ahead. Nobody likes a sore winner any more than they like a sore loser. In the morning sunlight, forgetting his granny's admoniti
Brown Squirrel challenges Bear to stop the sun from rising when Bear boasts that he can do anything. When the sun comes up the next morning, Brown Squirrel teases Bear relentlessly until Bear finally digs his claws into his back causing Brown Squirrel to become Chipmunk, the striped one.

I love Bruchac and his representation of Native American stories. Not only is it fun for kids to ponder creation stories, this particular story offers an opportunity to discuss character flaws (boasting and teas
Shanna Gonzalez
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-04-08
Joseph Bruchac retells a tradional Mohawk folktale, with a snappy rhythmic cadence and building to a satisfying climax. In the story, Bear is caught out for boasting when he claims he can keep the sun from coming up and is proven wrong. But a brash young squirrel finds himself in trouble when (against his wise grandmother's advice) he begins to tease the humiliated bear.

This entertaining story, full of action and humor, underscores the importance of both humility and being sensitive to others' f
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Joseph Bruchac lives with his wife, Carol, in the Adirondack mountain foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York, in the same house where his maternal grandparents raised him. Much of his writing draws on that land and his Abenaki ancestry. Although his American Indian heritage is only one part of an ethnic background that includes Slovak and English blood, those Native roots are the ones by wh ...more
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