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RUPA RISES THE SUN by Marsha Wilson Chall


by Marsha Wilson Chall & illustrated by Rosanne Litzinger

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-7894-2496-7
Publisher: DK Publishing

A tale with more atmosphere than purpose, about mistaking post hoc events for genuine cause and effect. Morning after morning, in the dark and cold, while the baker and blacksmith are still asleep, Rupa gets up to stomp around her fire and make the sun rise. One morning, “with a great blister on her foot and greater frost on her mustache,” she feels the weight of her burden and shuffles off to the village elders to ask for a respite from her duty. They decide to hold tryouts for a stand-in, but neither smithy, nor baker, nor farmer can do the job, and Rupa must call the sun forth once more. After the elders ask Rupa to walk backwards around the fire to keep the sun in its heaven until she is better—it doesn’t work—they agree she can take a few days off: “The sun won’t rise on time, but we could all use the extra rest.” The next day, as Rupa snoozes, the sun rises in the east. Everyone is pleased. Litzinger’s fine and funny paintings show another time, but the labor complaints Rupa takes to management seem to fit this century. Readers may chortle over their inside knowledge of sunrises and sunsets; they also may be puzzled by the point of the story: Rupa, hitherto so responsible and so valued by the village, looks like a useless old fool, the butt of a bad joke. (Picture book. 4-8)