Children's LiteratureThe Native Americans of the northeastern region of the United States (and parts of Canada) lived in longhouse villages. These large communities were built along waterways and near good hunting areas. Each longhouse was home to a clan consisting of 15-20 extended families. Structurally, longhouses are similar to barracks, although firepits for cooking and heating were dug into the floors of the longhouses. Kalman has created an interesting account of the daily life in a longhouse village, including the activities of each member, the growth and preparation of food, cultural traditions and celebrations. The illustrations are lively and quite detailed. Although a glossary is provided at the back of the book, there is no pronunciation guide to help in tackling some of the difficult vocabulary. 2001,Crabtree, $22.60 and $7.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Carol Lynch
School Library JournalGr 4-6-Accessible books about topics that are studied in most elementary schools. The information on housing, storage, village structure, and family life is straightforward, easy to read, and interesting, although life on the Plains seems less harsh than existence really was. The texts are peppered with full-color illustrations-at least one to a page-that depict Native Americans in historical times engaged in daily activities such as eating, storytelling, and building lodges. There are no source notes, and the glossary has no pronunciation guide. The illustrations are uneven. Some are reminiscent of 18th-century romantic paintings, some are contemporary, and some are just plain bad. For example, along with works by quality contemporary artists Howard Terpning and James Bama there are others where facial features are so poorly rendered that it is difficult to distinguish one person from another. The books are generally good, but the illustrations do them a great disservice. Michael Bad Hand Terry's Daily Life in a Plains Indian Village 1868 (Clarion, 2001) is a better choice because it uses real-life models to show actual clothing and articles used by Plains Indians.-Dona J. Helmer, College Gate School Library, Anchorage, AK Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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