Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThere is no death; only a change of worlds--Goble delivers these reassurances to readers in his latest book, once more based on the customs of the Plains Indian people. The book reads like a prayer, expressing specific beliefs about dying as well as the story of a woman who is called by her long-dead mother to go ``beyond the ridge.'' The world she discovers--after a steep climb--is abundantly beautiful, and there she finds the familiar faces of people who have passed that way before her. Meanwhile, in her tepee, her loved ones recognize that she is dead, and give her a ceremonial burial. Graceful illustrations, displaying colorful beadwork on clothing and bountiful flora and fauna in each scene, further illuminate the words. The characters move elegantly through the rites, while the text whispers the meaning of symbols. A generous, encompassing view of death and dying, Goble's work is one of resonant tranquility. All ages. (Feb.)
School Library JournalGr 2-6-- Once again Goble has created a stunning picture book interpretation of an aspect of Plains Indian tradition. The story at the heart of this book is the death of an old woman and her subsequent spirit journey. Once she is safely ``beyond the ridge'' the story focuses on the woman's family and how ritual helps them mourn and then accept her passing. The art work is Goble at his best. Clear colors and meticulous details make his paintings come alive. Clouds break like waves across the expanses of sky. The Great Plains shimmer with changing light, and there is a pervading sense of the unity of all creation. The story is bracketed by several passages in italics on life and death written by traditional native Americans. Attributions are made only in small print on the back of the title page, and so the individual voices seem to merge with the voice of the storyteller. Unfortunately, these sections are too repetitive to read out loud in one sitting; a wise librarian will be selective in reading these passages. Nonetheless, this book is a wonderful acquisition. Goble's portrayal of native American beliefs is accurate and respectful. And the universal wisdom the book contains will give comfort and insight on a subject that troubles readers of all ages. --Carolyn Polese, Gateway Community School, Arcata, Calif.
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