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Lyons Den Books

The Butter Tree: Tales of Bruh Rabbit

(New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1995. ISBN 0-8050-2673-8)

Fooled you! Bruh Rabbit is always playing tricks. He tricks Bruh Bear out of bed and eats his fish. He tricks Bruh Wolf out of the butter from his butter tree—then he proves that it was Wolf who ate it. He even serves oven-fried wolf to his children. But sometimes Bruh Rabbit gets fooled too.

Retelling six authentic Bruh Rabbit stories that were recorded in Beaufort County and Murrells Inlet in South Carolina, author Mary Lyons has captured their madcap spirit. She uses simple, strong words that allow first readers to make their own way through Bruh Rabbit’s (mis)adventures. Mirelle Vautier’s explosion of primary colors and her sly, knowing Rabbit add a second smile to every story.

activity  OH, BROTHER!

Bruh is a short way of saying Brother. Other ways are: Buh, Bruddah, and Brer.  Stories in The Butter Tree are short and easy to read.  For longer Brer Rabbit stories, see The Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit by Julius Lester, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney.

activity  TALE OF A TAIL

Folk tales often explain how animals got their tails, but rabbits have no tails.  Why not?  For the answer, read “Bruh Wolf Fools Bruh Rabbit” in The Butter Tree. 


Bruh Rabbit stories come from Africa, where tales often have an open ending.  Then listeners talk about the best way to end the story.  "What is fair?" they ask each other.  "What is honest?"  Talking about the end of the story helps people learn how to get along with each other. 

The last story in The Butter Tree is “Bruh Rabbit and Bruh Guinea Fowl.”  Read the tale with someone else and decide how it should end.  Should Rabbit find the meat first?  Or Guinea Fowl?  Do either one deserve the meat?