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The Earth under Sky Bear's Feet: Native American Poems of the Land Paperback – September 28, 1998
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1-6?A companion to Bruchac's Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back (Philomel, 1992). In that title, a grandfather shared the moon's legends with his grandson. In this book, a grandmother relates the legend of Sky Bear to her granddaughter. Sky Bear (also known as the Big Dipper) circles the Earth each night, and these 12 poems tell of what she sees and hears. Each one is from a different tribe: Mohawk, Anishinabe, Pima, Missisquoi, Winnebago, Cochiti Pueblo, Lenape, Chumash, Inuit, Lakota, Navajo, and Pawnee. Bruchac has once again compiled a thoughtful collection that eloquently bears out the theme of unity among all creatures. The selections display a wide range of emotions. Some are pensive meditations; others resound with hopeful energy. "Mouse's Bragging Song," a whimsical delight, is the arrogant boast of a little creature who thinks he alone can touch the sky. Locker's luminous oil paintings add detail and depth. They glow with brilliant sky colors: sunset reds, twilight purples. The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet lives up to the high standards of Bruchac's earlier works, and is a worthy addition.?Marilyn Taniguchi, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 3^-5, younger for reading aloud. To quiet her granddaughter's fear of the approaching darkness, Grandmother shares what Sky Bear (also known as the Big Dipper) sees and hears through the night. This companion volume to Bruchac's Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back: A Native American Year of Moons (1992) presents 12 nature stories, each from a different North American Indian tribe, about summer fireflies, blooming cacti, the northern lights, and an old wolf's predawn song. Locker's richly colored paintings capture the mood of each story, from the midnight sun of the Inuit to the seven stars sparkling against a blue-black sky. Similar in format to the earlier book, this offers easily accessible folklore that will appeal to young listeners and readers. Source notes appended. Karen Hutt --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
My favorite poem / illustration pair from the book is "The Scattered Stars" (from the Cochiti Pueblo, Southwest) because it reminds me of the book "How the Stars Fell into the Sky: A Navajo Legend" told by Jerrie Oughton, illustrated by Lisa Desimini. Each tells a similar tale whereby curiosity and impatience bring disorganization and confusion to the night sky---save for a few special patterns (constellations) that survive. How clever the Southwest peoples were to develop such an idea to explain the infinite, speckled heavens that opened up above them.
I also like "The Seven Mateinnu" poem / illustration pair (Lenape Eastern Woodlands) because it reminds me of the Pleiades stars--one of my favorite star-gazing objects, and I like the story of seven wise men as depicted in the poem rather than seven maidens, which is popular in other world myths.
Another notable piece in this book is "The Trail of the Pinon Gatherers," which describes "Sky Coyote, Star Who Never Moves" ---which sounds very much like a description of the North Star, Polaris, which, of course, is a circumpolar star that never appears to move.
The book is well-designed, and the poems' text is easy to read (great for eye-glass wearers!) The author's notes at the end of the book are helpful for further reading. All and all, this is a fantastic book to share with any class that studies descriptive astronomy, mythology, legends, folklore, and history. The book teaches respect and appreciation for the night sky as well as respect and appreciation for Native American cultures.