Books Magazine

The Terrible Hodag: What Do YOU Think It Looks Like?

By Carolinearnoldtravel @CarolineSArnold
The Terrible Hodag:  What Do YOU Think It Looks Like?Recently, I did an author visit at Pilgrim School in Los Angeles.  Before my visit, the librarian had read aloud my tall tale, The Terrible Hodag and the Animal Catchers, to the students.  But she didn’t show them the illustrations in the book.  Instead, the children had to imagine their own version of the creature that has the head of an OX, feet of a BEAR, back of a DINOSAUR, and the tail of an ALLIGATOR.  Afterwards, the art teacher asked the first graders to paint their images.  She gave them large sheets of black paper (after all, the Hodag is said to be forty feet tall!) and white paint and large brushes.  They worked in small groups, each one producing an amazing, and different giant Hodag.  The finished products were mounted on the walls of the room where I gave my presentation, making us feel as if we were in the north woods where the Hodag lives.
The Terrible Hodag:  What Do YOU Think It Looks Like?I did not invent the Hodag.  The first Hodag was described in a newspaper article in the northern Wisconsin town of Rhinelander in 1893.  Then, in 1896, prankster Eugene Shepard, (who had instigated the earlier report) claimed to have captured a Hodag.  He displayed his “living” monster at the Oneida County fair.  Later, he admitted it was a hoax. Rhinelander still considers itself the home of the Hodag.  When I visited Rhinelander several years ago, I had my picture taken under the huge fiberglass model of the Hodag that stands outside the Chamber of Commerce.  This Hodag looks considerably fiercer than those portrayed in my books!
The Terrible Hodag:  What Do YOU Think It Looks Like?Through the years, tales of the Hodag have spread throughout the upper midwest.  As with all tall tales, the stories have evolved.  I first learned about the Hodag when I was a child and went to summer camp at Camp Bovey (originally called Camp Hodag) in northern Wisconsin and we told Hodag stories around the campfire at night.  I remembered those stories and after I grew up and became a children’s book author I wrote one of them down.  That story became The Terrible Hodag, illustrated by Lambert Davis.  He depicts the Hodag as a kind of taxidermist’s assemblage of body parts.
The Terrible Hodag:  What Do YOU Think It Looks Like?I then took the characters from the first book and used them to create my own story.  That became The Terrible Hodag and the Animal Catchers.  The illustrations in that book, by John Sandford, are black and white and evoke turn of the century woodcuts.
I love the way every artist, from the first graders to the illustrators of my books, has created their own unique image of the Hodag.  The Hodag has come a long way from the monster that Eugene Shepard “captured” more than a century ago.
You can learn more about the origin of the Hodag in Long Live the Hodag: the life and Legacy of Eugene Shepard: 1854-1923 by Kurt Daniel Kortenhof.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Long Walk 2018 – T Minus 3 Days

    Long Walk 2018 Minus Days

    T minus 3 days till the Great Long Walk of 2018 takes place. This year I’ll be walking from the tip of Cape Cod to the Sagamore Bridge at the base of the Cape... Read more

    The 24 September 2018 by   Wendythomas
  • Free CBD Vape Oil Sample : Pure CBD Oil, Miracle Drop, CBD Oil Benefits

    Free Vape Sample Pure Oil, Miracle Drop, Benefits

    Share This PostFree CBD Vape Oil Sample : Everything You Need To Know About Cannabidiol – 100% Pure CBD Oil, Miracle Drop Benefits – Now Available!... Read more

    The 24 September 2018 by   Tomkey
  • Stop Reading ‘How-To Raise Your Kids’ Articles. Midlife Margaritas Guide to...

    Stop Reading ‘How-To Raise Your Kids’ Articles. Midlife Margaritas Guide Raising Kids.

    I am a big fan of websites like “Grown And Flown” and “Scary Mommy”. They are filled with smart, funny and insightful articles about all the Mommy stages raisin... Read more

    The 24 September 2018 by   Midlifemargaritas
  • Favorite Movie #53: Bell, Book, and Candle

    Favorite Movie #53: Bell, Book, Candle

    Favorite movies that have had an impact on me - #53 - Bell, Book, and Candle (1958) - A middle-aged Jimmy Stewart may seem a strange choice for a romantic... Read more

    The 24 September 2018 by   Xoxoxoe
  • Magiczne Miasta: Włocławek Was 70 Not Out – I Have Visited 70 Places in Poland

    Magiczne Miasta: Włocławek Have Visited Places Poland

    “Someday you will find me, caught beneath the landslide; in a champagne supernova in the sky” – Noel Gallagher. Magiczne Miasta: Włocławek was 70 Not Out –... Read more

    The 24 September 2018 by   Northernirishmaninpoland
  • Wild Wood

    Here is Wild Wood! Wild Wood. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee This painting was inspired by a photo my friend took on Wildwood Trail, a... Read more

    The 24 September 2018 by   Artbycedar
  • Video of the Week: Brahma Mudra

    Video Week: Brahma Mudra

    This version of Brahma mudra is a practice that includes both sound and movements of your head and neck. Practicing this mudra has practical benefits for the... Read more

    The 24 September 2018 by   Ninazolotow