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Starred Review. Grade 1-4–Fascinated by the Giant Sequoias they see during a California vacation, unnamed children listen to their father tell of the trees' namesake from the opposite side of North America. Thus, in short paragraphs accompanied by richly textured illustrations, Rumford presents the seminal events in Sequoyah's life, culminating in his invention of the Cherokee syllabary. The author writes with a concise eloquence that echoes the oral tradition and makes this one of those rare gems of read-aloud nonfiction. As in his other picture books, the artwork is executed in a style and medium that evoke the period and culture of the subject, in this case creating bold-lined scenes reminiscent of 19th-century woodblock prints. Done in ink, watercolor, pastel, and pencil, the illustrations were adhered to a rough piece of wood, and its textures were highlighted through the use of chalk and colored pencil. The perfect finishing element is the parallel text in Cherokee, which not only demonstrates the product of Sequoyah's genius but also makes this beautiful book readily accessible to Cherokee children in their own language. The end matter includes additional facts and the complete syllabary. Sequoyah is a perfect companion to Rumford's other picture books on important world scholars from history and legend–Jean-François Champollion, Ibn Battuta, Cadmus–whose (mostly linguistic) achievements are comparatively unsung. A must-have for all collections.–Sean George, Memphis-Shelby County Public Library & Information Center, Memphis, TN
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Gr. 1-3. This fascinating biography, presented in a tall, slim format, introduces Sequoyah, who decided in the early 1800s to give the Cherokee language a written form. Creating 84 symbols for sounds, he began to teach the language to others in the Cherokee nation. This technique spread, enabling the publication of books and newspapers, and it survives today. Below the paragraphs of English text, appearing usually on the book's right-hand pages, is a translation into the Cherokee language. Like the giant sequoia trees that appear in the framework story, the illustrations on the facing pages are vertical and stately. Created in ink, watercolor, pastel, and pencil, the unusual artwork has a primitive quality that reflects the strength and deceptive simplicity of the text. Back matter includes a chart showing the Cherokee syllabary, a discussion of Sequoyah and his accomplishment, and a time line of his life. Carolyn Phelan
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Great book, wonderful story. I recommend this book (kindergarten, 1st, 2nd grade book)Published 11 months ago by A.W.
It is an absolutely beautiful book. Great story about an amazing man. The text is also printed in the Cherokee language that Sequoyah invented.Published 21 months ago by Joanna Sikes
Was well pleased with my purchase, just found out my maternal heritage. The Chief named me "YELLOW DOVE" and I am trying to find out all that I canPublished 22 months ago by Denise Cocke
Anybody interested in languages and scripts, human inventiveness and dignity, and beautiful art will be impressed by this lovely book Sequoyah, by Rumford.Published on December 12, 2012 by Kathy Phillips