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Giving Thanks


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Kindergarten-Grade 3.Drawing on Six Nation (Iroquois) ceremonial tradition, the text speaks concise thanks to Mother Earth, to water, grass fruits, animals, to the wind and rain, sun, moon and stars, to the Spirit Protectors of our past and present, "for showing us ways to live in peace and harmony," and to the Great Spirit, giver of all. The simplicity and familiarity of the message do not diminish the moving effect of the lengthening catalogue of blessings. At first glance, the art, while colourful and very legible, seems overly conventional; closer inspection, however, reveals an interesting use of pattern in the faces of both humans and animals, variation between distant landscape and close-up still-life composition, and a satisfying buildup of momentum to the dramatic, fire-lit night scene of the final invocation to the spirits. The entire text is reproduced in Mohawk on the last page (without a pronunciation guide, alas). A brief prefatory note makes the very valuable suggestion that the giving of thanks should be a daily, rather than a rare, activity. This book is not just for the "Native American shelf": its contribution is more inspirational than ethnographic..Patricia (Dooley) Lothrop Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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