From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4?An appealing collection of six traditional Iroquois tales retold in classic storytelling language. Although these stories can be found in other anthologies, including Bruchac's Iroquois Stories (Crossing, 1985), they are gathered here for younger children and presented as lessons the tribal elders might pass on during winter story times. The reteller's introduction is instructive and sets the mood for these humorous, moral?but never didactic?tales. Each one is carefully crafted with precise language and striking images. The title story tells adults to love their children; "How Birds Got Their Feathers" warns readers to be satisfied with what they have; "Chipmunk and Bear" cautions against making fun of others. Jacob's stunning, brilliantly colored paintings, one for each selection, capture the moods clearly and gracefully. A beautiful book in words and pictures that deserves a spot in every folktale collection.?Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4^-6. An orphan abused by his guardian uncle finds refuge as a member of a bear family in the title story of this collection of six Iroquois teaching tales, which spring from Bruchac's close association with Iroquois elders and are sourced in tales he heard while growing up. An introduction that doesn't overwhelm puts the tales into historical and cultural context. Bruchac's style is clean and spare. His direct, immediate language makes the book accessible to a wide range of children, including reluctant and new readers, and the humor and inherent drama make the tales ideal for reading and telling aloud. The seven full-page color paintings by Murv Jacob are brightly framed with floral and other patterns that enhance the vibrant compositions, and, whether animal or human, the characters are nicely individualized and energetically executed. A gray flowered border surrounds each page of text, the type is large, the design is spacious, and the detailing is attractive. This is a fine example of good book-making, which combines quality of content with quality of craft. Janice Del Negro