Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Messageby Jake Swamp, Erwin Printup
A traditional Iroquois celebration of the beauty and spirit of Mother Earth, as told by a contemporary Mohawk chief.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly"Simple, timeless language bears witness to the Native American reverence for the natural world," wrote PW of this Iroquois salute to Mother Earth. All ages. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Gisela JerniganA Native American writer and illustrator have combined their talents to produce this lovely and inspiring picture book based on the traditional Mohawk morning prayer, or "Thanksgiving Address to Mother Earth." The graceful prose expresses gratitude for many of nature's gifts, including: deep, blue waters, good foods, and twinkling stars. The attractive, colorful acrylic illustrations show a wide variety of scenes from sunrise to the glow of an evening campfire. The Kaniakehaka or Mohawk text is included at the end.
Children's Literature - Jan LiebermanThis is a beautiful way to appreciate our diversity, to give thanks for our precious gifts: green grass, blue waters, rain, clean air, food, the sun and moon, etc. The paintings glow with Native American images set in the flowing landscape of the Iroquois, or Six Nations. This is a tribute to the beauty and spirit of the environment and helps us see these gifts with a new awareness.
School Library JournalK-Gr 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 catalog of blessings. At first glance, the art, while colorful 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
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