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Rain Player
Contributor(s): Wisniewski, David (Author)

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ISBN: 0395720834     ISBN-13: 9780395720837
Publisher: Clarion Books
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: September 1995
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Annotation: 32 pp. Pub: 9/95".An unusual story of a young Mayan ballplayer who, defying the priest's prophecy of a drought to come in the year ahead, challenges the rain god to a game of pok-a-tok . . . The great beauty of the volume and its lesson on Mayan culture make it a unique and worthwhile purchase".--School Library Journal. Full-color illustrations.
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | People & Places - United States - Native American
Dewey: E
LCCN: 90044101
Age Level: 10-12
Grade Level: 5-7
Lexile Measure: 690 AD (Adult Directed Text)
Physical Information: 0.2" H x 10.6" W x 8.8" (0.35 lbs) 32 pages
Themes:
- Ethnic Orientation - Native American
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 6990
Reading Level: 3.8   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
The ancient Mayan belief that the future was divinely decreed and could not be changed is the basis for this original tale of a boy who must defeat the Rain God in a ball game to save his people from disaster. Mayan art and architecture were the inspiration for the spectacular cut-paper artwork.

Contributor Bio(s): Wisniewski, David: - David Wisniewski (wiz-NESS-key) was born in Middlesex, England, in 1953. After training at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, he spent three years as a clown, designing and constructing his own props, costumes, and gags. He was subsequently hired by his future wife, Donna, as a performer with a traveling puppet theatre. Married six months later, the Wisniewskis started their own troupe, Clarion Shadow Theatre, specializing in shadow puppetry. In the course of creating the plays, puppets, and projected scenery, Mr. Wisniewski evolved the storytelling techniques and art skills that eventually led to his picture books with their unique cut-paper illustrations. His retelling of GOLEM was awarded the 1997 Caldecott Medal. David Wisniewski died in 2002 in the Maryland home he shared with his wife and two children.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 1991 July #2)
Wisniewski's ( Elfwyn's Saga ) latest, inspired by ancient Mayan culture, takes full advantage of his penchant for original folktales rooted firmly in well-researched fact. This interest, together with his instantly recognizable cut-paper artwork (vibrantly colored, its dramatic lighting and photography result in sharply three-dimensional images), have helped him carve a niche in the picture book realm. Here, a boy named Pik challenges Chac, the god of rain, to a game of ``pok-a-tok''--a cross between soccer and basketball--in order to avert a foretold drought that would devastate his people. Pik's father gives him three talismans to help in the play-off against the fierce sky god, and with their aid the boy is victorious. It's a satisfying tale, and Pik--a sort of Magic Johnson of the Yucatan--is the kind of impetuous hero with whom young readers will enjoy identifying. Ages 5-9. (Sept.) Copyright 1991 Cahners Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1991 October)
Gr 1 Up-- An unusual story of a young Mayan ballplayer who, defying the priest's prophecy of a drought to come in the year ahead, challenges the rain god (Chac) to a game of pok-a-tok (a Mayan basketball/soccer game played on an outdoor court). Equipping himself with the speed of a jaguar (sacred animal to his people), the strength of a beautiful long-plumed Quetzal, and the hidden power of a sacred underground spring, the boy outperforms Chac. The god rewards him by sending gentle showers after his victories on the court. Wisniewski's exquisitely rendered cut-paper illustrations--more intricately crafted than those he created for The Warrior and The Wise Man (Lothrop, 1989)--contain depth and shadows, giving the appearance of an action-filled play. Their harmonious hues are those of the natural world that is the basis of Mayan existence: the browns, grays, and terra cottas of the earth; the blues of the sky and water; the ochres of the sun; and the greens of the foliage. In several places, though, the story skips from one scene to the next, as if the text were written to support the illustrations. Nevertheless, the great beauty of the volume and its lessons on Mayan culture make it a unique and worthwhile purchase. --Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 1991 Cahners Business Information.
 
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