David Wisniewski The Wave of the Sea-Wolf

ISBN 13: 9780395968925

The Wave of the Sea-Wolf

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9780395968925: The Wave of the Sea-Wolf

Intricate cut-paper illustrations incorporating Pacific Northwest motifs accompany this original story of the Tlingit princess Kchokeen, who is rescued from drowning by a guardian spirit that later enables her to summon a great wave and save her people from hostile strangers.

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About the Author:

David Wisniewski (wiz-NESS-key) was born in Middlesex, England, in 1953. After training at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, he spent three years as a clown, designing and constructing his own props, costumes, and gags. He was subsequently hired by his future wife, Donna, as a performer with a traveling puppet theatre. Married six months later, the Wisniewskis started their own troupe, Clarion Shadow Theatre, specializing in shadow puppetry. In the course of creating the plays, puppets, and projected scenery, Mr. Wisniewski evolved the storytelling techniques and art skills that eventually led to his picture books with their unique cut-paper illustrations. His retelling of GOLEM was awarded the 1997 Caldecott Medal. David Wisniewski died in 2002 in the Maryland home he shared with his wife and two children.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-6-How did a war canoe come to rest high in a cedar tree? This mystery leads into the story of the Tlingit princess Kchokeen who, courting danger, has a vision of the mighty spirit Gonakadet (the Sea-Wolf), maker of huge waves. Learning that a bear's howl precedes the wave, she predicts periods of risk, and so her people prosper. One day, however, white traders appear and destroy the village. Kchokeen appeals to the Sea-Wolf, and then lures the traders' ship into the frothing wave that engulfs it. Her own canoe is carried high into a tree. Kchokeen has saved her people this time, but the foreigners continue to invade, and she resolves to carry on the old ways until this new danger also passes. Wisniewski's original story is based on a Tlingit legend, and his art, too, combines the original and the traditional. The illustrations are elaborate cut-paperwork, and their intricacy (especially in leaf and wave forms) contributes to an impressive 3-dimensional effect. Ethnic representation of the characters is convincing, but most remarkable of all is the use of native Northwest design motifs. Not only expected objects-canoes, paddles, boxes, and garments-are adorned with adapted but authentic-looking decoration, but also the text on each page is surmounted with a border of varying design. A lengthy endnote discusses the history and legend-and the contemporary message-behind Wisniewski's entertaining and instructive creation.
Patricia (Dooley) Lothrop Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Wisniewski, David
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