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Pacific Island Legends: Tales from Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia and Austrialia Paperback – April 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-1573060783 ISBN-10: 157306078X

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Bess Pr Inc (April 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157306078X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573060783
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.9 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,442,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up-This anthropological tour of the Pacific Islands through legend is as seductive as Bloody Mary beckoning from Bali Hai. Flood acknowledges the paradox of freezing oral stories in print, and attempts to capture each geographical area's history and culture in introductory sections written in a crisp, expository manner. The tales that follow are told in a simple, conversational style. Stories include creation myths, explanations of events, and healthy doses of romance and intrigue where the ocean is the defining element that binds islands and life together. "Micronesia" includes tales from geographically isolated areas (Guam, the Mariana Islands, Palau, the Marshall Islands). From "Melanesia" (Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, and others), with over 1000 native language groups, come stories of magical powers, cannibalism, and self-sacrifice. Tales from "Polynesia" explain life, love, and death. Only Australian aboriginal myths incorporate landlocked legends about the sun, the kangaroo, and the origin of frost. Intended as a companion volume to anthropology textbooks, Legends stands nicely on its own as an introductory overview, and interested readers can locate additional legends from specific islands through the extensive bibliography. Sidebar definitions and pronunciation keys assist with unfamiliar vocabulary. Woodcut illustrations are beautifully rendered and culturally evocative; unfortunately, there is no map of the islands. Nevertheless, given the quality and scope of the work, this is an admirable collection.
Mary R. Hofmann, Rivera Middle School, Merced, CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

paper 1-57306-078-X Giant clams that give birth to the world, cannibalistic ghosts, and tender love stories swirl through these legends of the Pacific Islands. The authors provide a historical and geographical context for this collection of tales from an oral tradition, ``talk stories'' that they describe as a dance between teller and listener. Divided into sections reflecting the four distinct areas of the Pacific, the book records the stories in an engaging and often exciting style. The islanders' belief in magic and spirits, along with their violence, compassion, and humor, dominate the stories. Many stories are intended to teach children, while others try to explain the world and history of the people, such as how the Samoans finally abandoned cannibalism. Pronunciation and vocabulary guides appear in the margins, aiding readers (sometimes unnecessarily, with entries on sassy, haste, boasting, and gushed among them), who will find thrills, laughter, grief, disaster, and triumphs here, adding up to a charming portrait of an often neglected culture. (bibliography) (Folklore. 9-13) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
The legends and folk lore embodied in the culture and values of Pacific island peoples are showcased in Pacific Island Legends, a single, easy to read volume that is beautifully illustrated with the woodcut images of Connie J. Adams. Educators Bo Flood, Beret Strong, and William Flood have successfully collaborated to present forty-four legends from all over the Pacific, serving to provide cultural access that will be appreciated by scholars and non-specialist general readers alike. Pacific Island Legends is a highly recommended addition to any personal, academic, or public library multicultural myth, legend and folklore reference collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tyson Reyes on September 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
Overall the book is a great way to learn, or begin to learn, about the islands of the pacific. Although aimed at children it is still useful for readers of all ages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lilah F. Xavier on January 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
i thought this was a good book for kids. it has the definition of some of the difficult words on the side of the text and has great art to complement the stories. but for someone from the islands, it was a bit dissappointing in that some of the legends were seriously augmented. granted, there are many versions of the same legends in the islands but not one that is so far from all the rest that they are hardly recognizable, save for the title. but overall, i found the book to be beautifully written and magical.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Because they didn't have written language, these myths and legends were a way to perpetuate their culture and history through the "Talk Story" concept. I enjoyed this very much and it was very helpful in my research.
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By Laura on December 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purchased this book for my students in Micronesia. I wanted them to have a good understanding of other island's legends.
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