Young Dikewamis and her family are forced to keep moving as the "moving stone mountains" creep closer and closer to their village, driving away the bison and deer, turning the waters to ice, and hardening the earth, making it impossible to grow food. Their Chief, Tarachiawagon, has had a vision in which he sees fingers of water in a bountiful land. Thus he calls his people to embark upon a journey. The long, arduous trip will test the faith of many, including Dikewamis, but ultimately, it will lead their people to a new land. They will call this land Ohio, named for the many rivers that cross it -- the fingers of water Tarachiawagon saw in his dreams. Ohio means "beautiful river", and today we know that it has more than 25,000 miles of rivers and streams. Dandi Daley Mackall has authored over 350 books for children and adults, with sales of 3 million in 22 countries. Although she has always been interested in Native American culture and history (with the rumor of a distant Native American branch in her own family tree), The Legend of Ohio is her first Native American legend. She lives in rural Ohio. Illustrator Greg LaFever's career spans 25 years. His impressive client list boasts such names as Kenner Toys, Owens Corning, and Busch Gardens, among many others. The Legend of Ohio is his first children's book. Greg lives with his family in Oxford, Ohio.
The trek seems endless. Chief Tarachiawagon and his people are moving west, searching arduously for hunting grounds and land for farming. In a vision, he had seen a bountiful land fed by great fingers of water. This slow, seemingly futile journey tests the endurance and commitment of many of the leader's people, but they continue. Finally, they reach the dreamed-of place, which they call "Ohio." This captivating children's story is told through the experience of Dikewamis, a young Native American girl.
For centuries, people of the north lived in harmony with the earth. The bison, caribou, musk ox, and other creatures slowly plodded south ahead of the "Moving White Stone Mountain." Dikewarmis and her father watch as the once-green earth now turns cold, the waters harden, and seeds would not return plants. To save his people, Chief Tarachiawagon follows his vision and embarks on a journey to find the "rich and fertile land carved by a beautiful river." He sails away in a shimmering white canoe that he carved with a caribou bone from the mountain of ice. Mackall interprets the Iroquois legend that explains the movement of early Native Americans during the Ice Age to give us this beautiful story of bravery and sacrifice. The imagery and colorful language in this picture book are as breathtaking as the lovely watercolor illustrations. In his twenty-five year career, this is LaFever's first children's book. Dandi Daley Mackall has written over 350 books, but this is her first Native American legend. Children are enamored with movies about the Ice Age; this would be a great way to introduce a unit on the earth's crust, legends, or Native American studies. It would make a great addition to any elementary classroom. Part of the "Legends" series. 2005, Sleeping Bear Press, Ages 8 to 12.