First Fire (English and Spanish editions)

Why are ravens black? Why do screech owl eyes look red in light? How did we get fire? You'll find the answers to those questions in this retelling of a Cherokee pourquoi folktale. The earth was cold and dark but the animals could see fire coming from the tree on the island. They tried to fly or swim to the island to bring back the fire heat and light. What happened to some of the animals? Which animal brought it back and how?

Book Reviews

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ACS Book-finder rated it 5 of 5 stars

ACS Book-finder rated it 5 of 5 stars

This brilliantly written book is a Cherokee pourquoi folktale. Animals are discussed throughout the book. Animals brought fire back to an island to keep them warm when it was cold outside. It answers questions such as, why are ravens black? How do we get fire? Why do some owl eyes look red when you look at their eyes? The illustrations are perfectly matched to an inspiring folktale.

In the back of this book you will find maps, true and false along with various other activities.  This brilliantly written book is a Cherokee pourquoi folktale. Animals are discussed throughout the book. Animals brought fire back to an island to keep them warm when it was cold outside. It answers questions such as, why are ravens black? How do we get fire? Why do some owl eyes look red when you look at their eyes? The illustrations are perfectly matched to an inspiring folktale.

I recommend this book, it's great!

Literary Classics Book Awards & Reviews rated it 5 of 5 stars

First Fire, by Nancy Kelly Allen, is the retelling of a Cherokee folktale recounting the mythical events that unfold as a variety of creatures attempt to capture fire. When a bolt of lightning strikes a sycamore tree on a nearby island, the animals decide they needed fire for themselves. These animals, whose unique characteristics are developed as a result of their encounter with the elusive fire, endure a number of trials as each, one at a time, attempts to retrieve a burning ember.

Dena (Batch of Books) rated it 4 of 5 stars

I can't help but be drawn to Native American folk tales. They come from such an interesting culture and they are both entertaining and educational. This particular book is a Cherokee story of how animals first found and claimed fire. Kids love learning about stories like this. I read it several times to my girls. They loved the explanations of why a raven is black and why the horned owl has white rings around its eyes, among others.

For teachers/homeschoolers: Check out the publisher's website for resources, quizzes,
and activities to use this in the classroom. Each Arbordale book comes with 2-6 pages of curriculum connections in the back. This is a section of information relating to the book and that fits into Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards for grades K-3.