In this series of seven books, photojournalist Jan Reynolds documents the distinctive cultures and climates of indigenous peoples.
Children's Literature - Derek WilliamsA young Sherpa girl named Yangshi begs her father to tell her a story while they snuggle together by the kitchen fire. Her father tells her about her great-grandfather, a Tibetan salt trader who traveled from Tibet and settled in their Nepali village of Namche Bazaar. Yangshi soon falls asleep. In the morning, she awakens to a promising new day filled with exciting errands. The entire village springs to life for the Saturday Market. The townspeople trade goods such as rice and produce to the Tibetans in exchange for tea and salt. After the market, Yangshi and her oldest sister, Sonam, visit the local monastery with their father. To secure a blessing for the family, Yangshi's father brings a milky tea for the Lama, who distributes blessings. The sisters play with the prayer wheels and observe the carved prayer stones that line the monastery's exterior. With the aid of her siblings, Yangshi seemingly completes every chore from picking lettuce to carding sheep's wool as she eagerly waits for the Mani Rimdu festival to begin, with its beautiful mandalas that artistically depict the circle of life and the theatrics of the colorful masked dancers. Traveling through the Himalaya into Tibet, Reynolds met Yangshi's father and great-grandfather, who translated the story of their family and their people for the author. The Sherpa sisters' chores catalogue the signature elements of the culture, making their lives accessible to Western children who share tasks with their own siblings. The visually stimulating color photographs portray both the rich beauty of Tibet and the uniqueness of the Tibetan way of life. This book would be perfect choice for a multicultural project in language arts or socialstudies both because of its informative text and because of its lush photography. Reviewer: Derek Williams
Children's Literature - Beverly KobrinFamilies, typical of those who have lived for countless generations in the Sahara, the Himalaya, the Far North, and Down Under, are the focus of photographer/author Jan Reynold's outstanding "vanishing cultures" series. Ms. Reynolds' clear color photographs and informative, interestingly written narrative reflect the insight only first-hand experience can provide. (When you and your youngsters read each "About This Book" section, you'll find yourselves as impressed and fascinated by this resourceful woman as the people with whom she lived and described-respectively the Tuareg, Sherpa, Sami, and Aborigine!). After a brief description of their habitat, Ms. Reynolds follows a contemporary family going about its traditional daily activities, with an emphasis on children's roles. These stimulating views will provide readers the wherewithal for lively comparison-(how are we alike/different?), thoughtful conjecture-(what ways might modern technology impinge?), and speculative discussions-(will change be for better or worse?) of these endangered life-styles, and inspire additional research.
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