Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: A Message from Chief Seattle

Overview

Nearly 150 years ago, Chief Seattle, a respected and peaceful leader of one of the Northwest Indian Nations, delivered a message to the government in Washington who wanted to buy his people's land. He believed that all life on earth, and the earth itself, is sacred.

A Suquamish Indian chief describes his people's respect and love for the earth, and concern for its destruction.

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Overview

Nearly 150 years ago, Chief Seattle, a respected and peaceful leader of one of the Northwest Indian Nations, delivered a message to the government in Washington who wanted to buy his people's land. He believed that all life on earth, and the earth itself, is sacred.

A Suquamish Indian chief describes his people's respect and love for the earth, and concern for its destruction.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
During the 1850s, the white man negotiated to buy some land from the Northwest Nations. Chief Seattle, head of the Suquamish and Duwamish Indians, spoke to the white man in his native tongue about the importance of preserving the earth. His speech, translated here and lushly illustrated by Susan Jeffers, eloquently conveys the message that we must respect the earth and all it has on it. This speech has been the cornerstone for many environmental movements.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With Native American themes currently in vogue, and environmental awareness a hot issue, this timely picture book scores perfect marks in both arenas. The story is an adaptation of a speech delivered by Chief Seattle at treaty negotiations in the 1850s. Like other great speeches that have stood the test of time, his remarkably relevant message has endured because it comes from the heart and is imbued with passion--here, passion born of love for the land--``This we know: All things are connected like the blood that unites us. / We did not weave the web of life, / We are merely a strand in it. / Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.'' Jeffers has paired Seattle's eloquence with her dreamy, meticulous illustrations and the resulting images are haunting. First, readers see Native Americans living in harmony with nature, but gradually the images grow bleaker--ugly swaths of land stripped of their timber. The story comes full circle as a Caucasian family plants new trees on the barren land in a gesture that signifies hope and renewal. Together, Seattle's words and Jeffers's images create a powerful message; this thoughtful book deserves to be pondered and cherished by all. All ages. Sept.
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Jeffers has brought stirring illustrations of Native Americans to an interpretation of a speech given over one hundred years ago by Chief Seattle. He spoke of the sacredness of everything on earth; the shore, the plants, insects, animals and mountains. Chief Seattle likened the streams and rivers to the blood of our ancestors, commanding "You must give the rivers the kindness that you would give to any brother." He spoke of the air being precious and stated that, "The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth." His message has been reiterated many times by environmentalists and ecologists. Jeffers' artwork portrays a wide array of Native Americans because they all share Chief Seattle's philosophy of harmony and reverence for nature. Beautiful and moving, it is the winner of the 1992 ABBY and a Parents' Choice Award.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-- Chief Sealth (called ``Seattle'' by Jeffers) may not, in fact, be the historical source of the speech commonly attributed to him, and abridged and adapted here. But the message it conveys has never been more pointed, poignant, and powerful. Jeffers's popular pen-and-color style means that the illustrations are romantic and attractive. Alas, her entire stock of characters appears to have come from Sioux Central Casting, complete with Plains ponies and tipis (and one incongruous birchbark canoe lifted from the Algonquians). The beautiful and important words of the text (``The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth. . . All things are connected like the blood that unites us.'') are not well served by images that ignore the rich diversity of Amerindian cultures (even Sealth's own Northwest people) in favor of cigar-store redskins in feathers and fringe. Where Jeffers's book is used, it should be supplemented with others more sensitive to Native American heritage. --Patricia Dooley, University of Washington, Seattle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140545142
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/1993
  • Series: Picture Puffins
  • Pages: 32
  • Product dimensions: 9.57 (w) x 11.77 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Jeffers is the illustrator of such distinguished picture books as Three Jovial Huntsmen, a Caldecott Honor book; Rachel Field's Hitty; and the ABBY Award-winning Brother Eagle, Sister Sky, which was also a New York Times besteller. She lives in New York.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2009

    Inspriting

    This is an incredible book for anyone from 3 to 100. It is the inspiring words of Chief Seattle set to beautiful illustrations (more like paintings). I have given this book over a dozen times to young children because the message is timeless, the lessons should be a guide for a lifetime!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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