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Spirits, Fairies, and Merpeople: Native Stories of Other Worlds Hardcover – September 8, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–6—The seven brief legends in this collection hail from a range of Native cultures. Mohawk artist/storyteller Taylor includes one from her own heritage, along with one each from the Mi'kmaq, Dakota, Coos, Ojibwa, Ute, and Cree. Despite the subtitle, the entries might more accurately be described as tales in which the natural and spiritual worlds overlap. In some of the legends, humans receive divine instruction on how to live in harmony with one another or with the natural world that sustains them. Others feature malignant spirits, such as the chillingly effective "Lodge Eater." Taylor's retellings are crisp and lend themselves well to reading aloud. Each story is accompanied by a lushly hued, surrealistic painting. The powerful images featuring fearsome creatures and tiny human figures balance the taut economy of the text. Designed as a companion to Taylor's Peace Walker (2004) and All the Stars in the Sky (2006, both Tundra), this well-crafted collection is an accessible and thoughtful supplement to Native American culture studies.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA END


Praise for All the Stars in the Sky:
“A highlight of books by C.J. Taylor are her vivid interpretations of the legends she has gathered. A self-taught artist, she combines the dreamscape of the traditional story with her own modern abstract sensibilities. Bright colours, sweeping lines and unusual characters . . . make them interesting to study and interpret.”
Highly recommended. — CM Magazine

Praise for Peace Walker:
“C.J. Taylor’s beautifully illustrated and vividly written interpretation of the Iroquois legend of Hiawatha and Tekanawita is destined to become a classroom and library favorite . . .”
Highly Recommended. — CM Magazine

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 4
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Tundra Books (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887768725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887768729
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,477,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
"Spirits, Fairies, and Merpeople: Native Stories of Other Worlds" is a graceful, reverent retelling of seven separate First Nation tales involving elements of the supernatural. The hypnotic and compelling voice of the storyteller is integral to the complex messages of the myths. First comes a heartbreaking and heroic Mi'kmaq tale of love between a human being, Lone Star, and a mermaid, Minnow. Followed by a Coos tale of Water Lily and her brothers, the Cree story "Souls in the Fog," and the Ojibway "Fairy Village" and the Dakota legend of "The Lodge Eater," the collection traces a First Nations trail across the North American continent. C. J. Taylor also chooses a tale of "The Little People" from her own Mohawk heritage and history in southern Quebec. Each tale is carefully presented, sometimes the actual setting of the scene with the storyteller, an old, wise woman of the People, is described. Beautiful color-filled paintings illustrate each tale. These tales deal with issues of the struggle between good and evil, explaining and understanding the stories behind the stars mapping the night sky, and as always, the story of love both human and other. "Spirits, Fairies, and Merpeople" is recommended for a list of special awards, and completes a trilogy of similar works including "All the Stars in the Sky" and "Peace Walker," by the same distinctive author. "Spirits, Fairies, and Merpeople" will appeal to children age 8 and up, enriching their cultural awareness while teaching ancient values and ways of viewing the world.
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