Celebrate earth's bounty and the inherent value of all living things with a lavish anthology of traditional Native American animal and nature lore, selected and retold especially for young children. Representing 20 tribes and every ethnological region, this definitive treasury includes "Raven, the Rainmaker," the Tlingit tale of a generous act that brought fresh water to the earth; "The Corn Song," from the Dine, which celebrates the blue grain that is the tribe's staff of life; and "Coyote and the Blackbirds," a hilarious Pueblo legend about a conceited coyote who gets his comeuppance. This rich reference tool also contains an introduction, appendix, map, and informative source notes. Nancy Van Laan's spirited retellings and Lisa Desimini's stunning multimedia artwork make this an ideal read-aloud and a must-have addition to folklore collections. A Children's Book-of-the-Month Club Selection.
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This attractive volume gathers together 25 songs and stories from Native American tribes all over North America. Taking a spiral path through the continent, Van Laan (Rainbow Crow) begins with the Inuit peoples of the Arctic; moves to the Ojibwa, Slavey and Beaver of the Subarctic; and continues through five additional cultural regions before ending with the tribes of the Great Plains. Familiar folktale creatures such as Rabbit, Coyote and Fox feature prominently; the seasons and weather also predominate, underlining a deep respect for the natural environment-"Perhaps," Van Laan writes in her unusually reflective introduction, "[children] will come to understand the native peoples' belief that a person is no more important than a beaver or a pine tree or a body of water." Her animated narration makes it easy to recall that these are oral histories, legends that are meant to be shared aloud. Desimini's (My House) artwork is especially effective; she uses a wide combination of styles, textures and media to celebrate the variety of tribes represented here. From dazzling oils depicting a near-scarlet fox against an azure sea, to the earth tones that suggest cave paintings, her illustrations may bear out Van Laan's hope that readers will "see dancing and hear singing." Ages 3-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreSchool-Grade 3?A handsome format and unfussy layout, a map, introductions, and source notes all add to the intrinsic value of this brightly illustrated collection. Almost two dozen Native American peoples (each concisely described in an appendix) are represented in the 25 tales and poems. The stories are generally short, and the typeface is large. Nature is the common thread, and many of the tales feature animals: wise or foolish, tricky or tricked, noble or natural. Pourquoi tales predominate, and others contain an implicit or overt lesson, but the teaching is pleasantly done, and the straightforward retellings have moments of humor or emotion. Much of the pleasure here can be chalked up to the illustrations. They vary in medium and style to reflect the tones of the different stories and songs, but their deceptive simplicity is engaging, and many are striking. Desimini's flat, colorful backgrounds and slightly abstracted forms make the pictures intelligible at reading-group distance. Whether in read-aloud circles or in a parent's circling arms, this treasury spins the "long ago" into the lively present.?Patricia (Dooley) Lothrop Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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