Eagle's Song: A Tale from the Pacific Northwest

Eagle's Song: A Tale from the Pacific Northwest

by Kristina Rodanas
     
 

Far above the treetops lives an ancient eagle-woman and her son. Together, this wise pair teaches a young boy, Ermine, the importance of celebrating the gifts the world has to offer. Ermine passes this wisdom on to his people, for they have never known the rewards of living together as a community. With the first beat of the drum, he opens the hearts of his people as… See more details below

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Overview

Far above the treetops lives an ancient eagle-woman and her son. Together, this wise pair teaches a young boy, Ermine, the importance of celebrating the gifts the world has to offer. Ermine passes this wisdom on to his people, for they have never known the rewards of living together as a community. With the first beat of the drum, he opens the hearts of his people as the eagle-woman opened his.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Wendy Ricci
Striking illustrations of bold landscapes, magical creatures, and Pacific Northwest natives bring to life the tale of a people who must learn how to overcome their isolation from one another in order to experience the joy of being part of a community. Ermine is a young boy who lives with his two older brothers in a village where everyone keeps to themselves and never shares anything. One day, the older brothers go out hunting and do not return. When Ermine sets out to search for them, he meets a beautiful bird that changes into a man before his eyes. The eagle-man knows what has happened to Ermine's brothers and promises that his wise eagle-mother can help Ermine save them. She shows him that by playing a drum, his people can learn to use the gift of song to break their silence. When this happens, the older brothers will return. Ermine returns to his village and heeds the wise woman's advice. From this time forward, life is different as they take the time to share and celebrate all of their blessings.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-Like their neighbors, three brothers living on a lonely Northwest shore keep to themselves. The elder two are hunters; their isolation has made them coldhearted. Ermine, the youngest, paints beautiful designs on the wooden boxes and bowls he makes. When his brothers are late returning from the hunt, he goes into the forest after them. A low, steady throb leads him to a giant eagle-man, who explains that his brothers were changed into icy rivers. The eagle-man's mother gives Ermine a mission: bring people together to celebrate life through song. The boy crafts a drum, and his singing makes others aware of the beauty around them and the joy of sharing. His siblings are restored, and the eagle-mother's youth and strength are renewed. The people now live in community, celebrating their blessings with shared feasts, and with intricately painted homes, canoes, and totem poles. While the hero is male, his long hair, costume, and childish features make him genderless. Rodanas's faithful realism represents the humans without idealization and emphasizes the splendor of the Pacific scenery and the eagle's beauty and power. She uses Northwest Coast stylistic motifs in the appropriate places, and reproduces the culture's distinctive clothing, canoes, architecture, and objects. The art does not call attention to itself, but is in balance with the narrative. The tale offers a universal message, while the pictures are richly informative about the specific culture.-Patricia (Dooley) Lothrop Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Chris Sherman
Rodanas' adaptation of a Native American folktale combines vibrant, boldly hued illustrations with a faithful retelling of how the eagle-man and his mother taught the people "to share and celebrate their blessings." When Ermine's two brothers don't return from a hunting trip, Ermine sets out to find them; but he meets an eagle-man who tells him his brothers have been turned into rivers as cold as their hearts for trying to harm him. Eagle-man takes Ermine to his mother, who teaches the boy the joy of music, which he must take back to his people to break their silence and self-imposed isolation. Ermine creates a drum, and when he sings about the beauty in nature, the people come from afar and join in, and their hearts and lives are changed forever. Rodanas' use of broad, strong lines and vivid, earth tone, colored pencils over watercolor suits this story perfectly.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316753753
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
10/28/1995
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.83(w) x 11.32(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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