As the moon waxes and wanes, her cycles set a pattern of life for those who live beneath her silver glow. For the Northern Algonquians in precolonial America, these rhythms served to measure out the year.
January’s Hard Times Moon means biting winds and long nights, and February’s moon brings the big snow. Now animals and people alike search for food; the land is locked in a deep, icy cold. But by the April and May moons, one can fish at night by torchlight and leave the wigwam door open to the rising sun in the east. Soon the summer moons of planting and ripening will guide the daily work of the tribe. Then come the fertile autumn moons of harvesting to ready the people for yet another hard winter.
In graceful prose and stunning scratchboard illustrations, Michael McCurdy follows the important path the moon made in Algonquian lives. He brings to life the seasonal cycles of work, play, and survival a busy and fulfilling year punctuated by the beauty of the full moon.
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Award-winning artist Michael McCurdy has illustrated more than 170 books for adults and children. His books often explore America’s past, bringing to life its history and traditions. He lives with his wife, Deborah, on a farm in western Massachusetts.From School Library Journal:
Grade 2-5-In his introduction, McCurdy clearly states that his purpose is to describe a "year as it would have been lived before the arrival of white settlers-[concentrating on] Algonquian tribes found in the northeast of what is now Canada and the United States." The information is consistent with other books on these peoples, presenting typical recurring activities and the ongoing struggle for survival. An excellent, full-page scratchboard illustration accompanies the description of each month. Unfortunately, the use of present tense throughout the narrative dilutes the historical focus and becomes confusing when phrases like "the game we now call lacrosse" or "what will someday be called New Brunswick" accompany descriptions of events and activities. Similarly, McCurdy's map of the tribes provides only subtle outlines of the current northeastern states, but the presence of contemporary geographic names in the text suggests that the pre-contact Algonquians used terms like "New England" and "Massachusetts." Despite its shortcomings, this is a beautiful book that would be best used in a classroom or with adult intervention.-Sean George, St. Charles Parish Library, Luling, LA MCGILL, Alice, col. In the Hollow of Your Hand: Slave Lullabies. illus. by Michael Cummings. unpaged. with CD. score. CIP. Houghton. 2000. Tr $18. ISBN 0-395-85755-4. LC 97-20269. PreSchool-Grade 5-This collection includes songs of hope as well as haunting refrains of people being sold. From the reassuring "Great Big Dog" to the nonsense of "Rock de Cradle, Joe," the 13 selections reflect some aspect of a life lived under slavery. The words to each lullaby (and the explanation of its origin) are accompanied by vibrant mixed-media collage illustrations. Music appears in the back of the book. Although the accompanying CD does not follow the text exactly, the clear tones and the soft melodies provided by guitar, fiddle, banjo, and percussion bring much listening pleasure. Sing these songs with younger children or explore them more deeply with an older crowd. Both will result in a rewarding experience.
Anne Knickerbocker, Cedar Brook Elementary School, Houston, TX
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Book Description HMH Books for Young Readers, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110618007059
Book Description HMH Books for Young Readers. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0618007059 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0236333
Book Description Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0618007059
Book Description HMH Books for Young Readers, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0618007059