From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4-An aging chief realizes the time has come to choose a successor. He calls three young men to him, and sets them the following test: "I want you to go to the mountaintop. Bring back to me what you find there." The first two leave the mountain when they are only part way up because they have found things of value that will improve the lives of their people. Only the third completes the journey, returning with the news that he has seen a smoke signal from another tribe in dire need of help. The old chief declares him the most worthy to be the new leader, and places his chief's robe on his shoulders. Joseph Bruchac's foreword gives a brief history of the Eastern Cherokee Nation, its tradition of lesson stories, and some background on this particular tale, previously unpublished but handed down from generation to generation in Bushyhead's family. The illustrations, rendered in watercolor and colored pencil, effectively capture the Smoky Mountains in all their autumnal glory. However, while Rodanas does her usual capable job of representing Native culture with respect and authenticity in terms of dress, artifacts, etc., her illustrations are marred by the fact that the faces of the three young men are virtually identical. This flaw aside, the book makes a solid contribution to folklore shelves in need of more and better representation in this area.Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS-Gr. 3. In Bushyhead's telling of a Cherokee folktale, written down here by Kay Thorpe Bannon, an aging chief, Sky, sends three young men to a mountaintop to bring back what they find. The first young man finds stones to trade for food, while the second young man finds plants to keep the people healthy. The third young man, Soaring Eagle, returns empty-handed, but he tells the chief that he saw a signal for help from a neighboring group and that they must go to them quickly. Sky makes Soaring Eagle the new chief, believing that he will always help those in need. Beautifully illustrated with rich watercolors that fill most of the pages, this story folds its altruistic message into a vivid, entertaining tale. In a foreword, author Joseph Bruchac provides source notes and an explanation of "teaching stories." A fine addition to folktale collections in both school and public libraries. Karen HuttCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved