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The Legend of the Old Man of the Mountain (Myths, Legends, Fairy and Folktales)

Ortakales, Denise

16 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1585362360 / ISBN 13: 9781585362363
Published by Sleeping Bear Press, U.S.A., 2004
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Sheafe Street Books (Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Very clean and well preserved copy. Neatly signed on title page. Bookseller Inventory # 004421

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Legend of the Old Man of the Mountain (...

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed by author

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


For centuries, the Great Stone Face has kept silent watch from Cannon Mountain, high above the Pemigewasset River. But who is the onlooker and for whom does he keep vigil? Though from warring tribes, Mohawk maiden Minerwa enchants Chief Pemigewasset, and with their union comes peace for many years. But when Minerwa leaves to visit her dying father, Pemigewasset must stay behind. Denise Ortakales recounts the legend of Chief Pemigewasset, whose steadfast love and devotion to his wife is forever honored in his profile on the mountainside. Denise Ortakales graduated from the Art Institute of Boston, where she studied illustration and children's literature. Having grown up in the shadow of the Old Man, it was natural for her to write about it as a school assignment. Years later, when the granite formation fell, she knew it was time to share that story with others. This is her first book as an author. She has illustrated several picture books, including Carrot in My Pocket and Good Morning, Garden. Denise lives in Laconia, NH, with her husband and two sons. Artist Robert Crawford graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. His paintings have appeared on the cover of major magazines such as Fortune, Business Week, The Atlantic and U.S. News and World Report, as well as book covers for major publishers including Random House, Penguin/Putnam, and Avon. Robert's work has won numerous awards and has been selected for permanent collection by the United States government and major corporations. Robert lives in Woodbury, Connecticut.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 1-5–Initially, this seems like an eloquently written and beautifully illustrated folktale on the origin of a famous geographical feature long considered symbolic of New Hampshire. To summarize, beloved Chief Pemigewasset was immortalized in the cliff-face after waiting in vain, until death, for his wife's return from a long journey. Unfortunately, this is just another in the long line of romantic stories masquerading as indigenous oral traditions. Despite the Indians-as-relics message reinforced by the opening lines, there are many Abenaki people alive and telling stories today, but Ortakales mentions no consultation with any of them (or even any scholarly source) in her introductory note. Instead, she presents her version only as one of "many yarns and tall tales," rendering contemporary Natives voiceless in their own traditions, and inventing substitutes. The illustrator, on the other hand, cites a couple of scholarly institutions in his own acknowledgments. Although the clothing seems too refined for the suggested time period, Crawford's research pays off handsomely in the detail of the wigwams. Ignorant outsiders may well love this book, but readers of indigenous Northeastern cultures will likely spot this title for the fake lore that it is. Love and loyalty to one's spouse is laudable in any culture but, among most American Indian cultures, anyone who waited alone on a hilltop in the dead of winter for someone's return would be considered bizarre, not revered after starving and freezing to death. Readers waiting for an authentic story about the Old Man should beware his fate.–Sean George, Memphis-Shelby County Public Library & Information Center, Memphis, TN
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