|Jackrabbit McCabe & the Electric Telegraph
A tall tale by Lucy Rozier and Leo Espinoza
Written Lucy Margaret Rozier
Illustrated by Leo Espinoza
Schwartz & Wade, 2015
Ages 4-8, 40 pp, AD 930L
Tall Tale, Inventions
"This here's the story of Jackrabbit McCabe who was born to run.
At birth, his legs were so long, they looped like a pretzel and his father had to add an extra axel to the baby carriage."
From the author's website:
Jackrabbit McCabe & the Electric Telegraph is a tall tale. With his extra-long legs, Jackrabbit McCabe can outrun anything on the American frontier: horses, trains, and even twisters. So of course, everyone in the town of Windy Flats always counts on his speed when a message has to get out pronto.
Then something new comes to town: the telegraph, which can send Morse code messages with the speed of electricity. At first, no one believes the newfangled contraption can deliver a message quicker than Jackrabbit. . . But in a race between man and machine, who will be left in the dust?
What I Love:
I loved tall tales as a kid. I guess I still do. The twang of the text kept me turning pages. The humor in the illustrations made even the stretchiest truths seem plausible.
The story of Jackrabbit McCabe is intended for elementary kids, but I think there's definitely room in a slightly older classroom for a modern folktale. I love how this book will likely entice readers to want to learn more about the 19th century, the invention of the telegraph, and the history of communication without actually presenting much fact.
1. Lucy Rozier recommends the History Channel feature on the telegraph.
2. For more tall tales from around the country, check out American Folklore.
3. Visit the Morse Code exhibit at the White River Valley Museum. Can't travel to Washington? Visit
the virtual Crypto Museum.
4. Have fun sending code to your friends courtesy S. C. Phillips website.
5. Crayola offers a quick morse code puzzle worksheet.
6. For older readers, Prof. Tom Perera offers step-by-step instructions for building a simple telegraph.
7. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.
|Reviewed by Jarm
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