Native American Picture Books of Change: The Art of Historic Children's Editions

Native American Picture Books of Change: The Art of Historic Children's Editions

by Rebecca C. Benes
     
 

In this book illustrated with 150 enchanting paintings and historical photographs, some from as early as 1922, the author describes the history and motivation behind some of the most exceptional children's books published in the United States. These picture book readers, originally developed for use in Indian schools during the New Deal, represent the first

Overview

In this book illustrated with 150 enchanting paintings and historical photographs, some from as early as 1922, the author describes the history and motivation behind some of the most exceptional children's books published in the United States. These picture book readers, originally developed for use in Indian schools during the New Deal, represent the first Native-centred texts used in Bureau of Indian Affairs curriculum. They were written by lauded writers, ethnologists, and linguists and illustrated with the stunning work of emerging and prominent Native American artists.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Directed to an adult audience, the abundantly illustrated Native American Picture Books of Change: The Art of Historic Children's Editions by Rebecca Benes examines the earliest Native American children's books, many commissioned by the Bureau for Indian Affairs to create educational primers and books that reflected Native traditions. Benes discusses the development of the distinctly Native American aesthetic of the illustrations (done by Native artists) as well as the difficulties of converting stories that had been passed down via oral tradition into written form. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Beautifully illustrated with over 100 color plates and 44 black-and-white illustrations and offering fascinating accounts of the preservation of Native American stories, this important book will greatly benefit the fields of both children's and Native American literature. Benes, a former librarian and a gallery owner, begins her discussion with Elizabeth DeHuff's books from the 1920s, describing how certain enlightened federal officials authorized bilingual picture books intended for native children and printed on three native school presses in the 1940s. These "Indian Life Readers" were written in English alongside either Navajo, Sioux (Lakota), Hopi, or Spanish (for the Pueblo series). Early writers, such as Ann Nolan Clark, tended to be local nonnatives (often teachers) who believed in formally educating the children in their own languages and traditions. Benes also discusses later 20th-century children's books by native authors. Many of the illustrators (e.g., Fred Kabotie) had been art students at the native schools in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Phoenix. Enthusiastically recommended for school, public, and academic libraries.-Anne Marie Lane, Toppan Rare Books Lib., Univ. of Wyoming Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780890134719
Publisher:
Museum of New Mexico Press
Publication date:
04/28/2004
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Rebecca C. Benes has explored a lifetime interest in children's literature as a gallery owner, a librarian, and as an adjunct professor of children's literature. She lives in the Denver area.

Gloria Emerson is a writer and artist involved in Navajo education and linguistics. She founded and directed the Native American Materials Development Center in Albuquerque.

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