Native American Tales
a graphic collection
In the note from the editor, Matt Dembicki explains that the idea for this book came from reading a book of Native American tales in the library. He realized he didn’t know most of these tales and thought he should. He knew many European myths and tales, along with a few Asian and African tales, but none from his own country. All cultures have tales of the trickster—a crafty creature or being who uses cunning to get food, steal precious possessions, or simply cause mischief. The trickster disrupts the order of things and makes you consider different possibilities. In Native American traditions, the trickster takes many shape-shifting forms like a coyote or rabbit, raccoon or raven.
Trickster is a collection of twenty-one Native American tales adapted into comic form. Each story is written by a different Native American storyteller giving each tale an original voice. The work of telling the story is combined with the unique artwork of an illustrator so each tale is represented in a unique way. Some stories are serious and dramatic while others are funny and light. This collection brings tricksters into readers’ hands in vivid form. From an ego-driven misstep in “Coyote and the Pebbles” to the foolish greed of “Rabbit’s Choctaw Tail Tale,” to the ingenuity in “Puapualenalena- Wizard Dog of Waipi’o Valley Trickster provides rich stories for readers of all ages and opens doors onto a wide range of Native American cultures.
As I read each story in the collection I thought of different picture book versions of single tales that offered an even greater picture of the amazing lore that is part of our country. My favorites were Rabbit and the Tug of War, The Bear Who Stole the Chinook and Giddy Up, Wolfie. What are yours?