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Grandmother's Dreamcatcher

Product Details

About the Author

Becky Ray McCain is a mother of three who received her M.A. in Special Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She and her children live in Colorado. Being a mom, writing children's books, studying Native American culture, and teaching students with autism are her passion. Stacey Schuett received a degree in painting from the University of California-Davis. She has illustrated many books for children, including Somewhere in the World Right Now, which she also wrote. She lives with her family in northern California.


K-Gr 2-Kimmy is taken to stay with her Chippewa grandmother while her parents find a new place to live. Bad dreams and fear for her mother and father constantly disturb the child's sleep until Grandmother tells her the legend of the dreamcatcher, which is intended to capture bad dreams and allow good ones to make their way back to the dreamer. Kimmy is comforted after she and Grandmother construct a dreamcatcher from found materials. The two spend the rest of the week fishing, making presents, and enjoying being together. The acrylic-and-gouache illustrations are bright and appealing, and each character has unique features and expressions. The text is short and suitable for reading aloud. However, the fact that Kimmy does not recognize a dreamcatcher seems odd since both sides of her family are Chippewa. Nonetheless, this is a sensitive and attractive story. Directions for making a dreamcatcher are included.-Mary B. McCarthy, Windsor Severance Library District, CO

A Chippewa girl's bad dreams are kept at bay by a dreamcatcher in this straightforward story. The narrator, staying with her grandmother while her parents are busy relocating, keeps busy making Native American crafts and trekking through the countryside. Instructions for making a dreamcatcher follow the story. While the text credibly emulates a child's voice, it makes facile use of Native American culture that goes little beyond information on dreamcatchers that could be found in many activity books. Schuett's (Somewhere in the World Right Now) acrylic and gouache paintings convincingly convey tenderness among the family members, as well as the narrator's anxiety. The solid forms of her paintings, which rely heavily upon purple and green, are defined with solid black lines; her sometimes tilted perspectives add a lilt to these strong shapes. While the book raises significant issuesÄabout the loss of traditional culture, separation from parents, movingÄthe resolution comes too easily. The dreamcatcher is given full credit for curing the girl's anxiety; this solution ignores the complexity of the larger problems and sells short the family support that both author and illustrator portray. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)

"This is a sensitive and attractive story."School Library Journal "A picture book that is particularly welcome for portraying a present-day story about Native Americans."Booklist

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