Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this companion volume to The Pilgrims of Plimoth , Sewall's gentle, often poetic text and impressionistic paintings present an intriguing portrait of the Wampanoags, the tribe that lived in southeastern Massachusetts when the first English settlers arrived. Described in the present tense, the daily routines and rituals of the tribe are brought to life for young readers. Similarly, Sewall's use of the first-person plural gives the narrative a sense of immediacy and authority. ``We'' alternately refers to the women, the men and the children of the tribe, enabling readers to hear the story from a variety of perspectives. The author weaves together information on many aspects of the Wampanoags' way of life, including legends, religious beliefs, wartime customs, trade with other Native American peoples and the roles of mothers, fathers and children within the family. Glossaries of English and Native American words make Sewall's account all the more accessible to children. Ages 6-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Author/artist Sewall's evocative prose and earth-toned paintings artfully recreate the woodland tribe's time and place. In the first person plural, she articulates Wampanoag religious beliefs, social mores and tribal customs; the gender-dependent roles they passed from parent to child via daily, seasonal routines; and their sometimes friendly, sometimes hostile dealings with neighboring tribes. 1997 (orig.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Author/illustrator Sewall introduces readers to the Native Americans who lived on the East Coast prior to the arrival of the European settlers. Their life followed a pattern based on the seasons and the need to grow crops and harvest them for the ensuing cold months. In this seasonal account we meet the Wampanoags, People of the Breaking Day, and learn how they planted corn, moved closer to the sea during the warm months to harvest fish, clams, and berries and cut reeds for mats and baskets to be woven when they return inland to their longhouses during the cold days of winter. It is a positive and informative look at this tribe and a way of life that no longer exists. A glossary and definition of Wampanoag words plus a note from the author round out the book. 1997 (orig.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 2-5 --With the scholarship and sensitivity she brought to her presentation of The Pilgrims of Plimoth (Atheneum, 1986), Sewall tells the story of The People of the Breaking Day , the Wampanoag nation of Southeastern Massachusetts before the English settlers arrived. Using a collective narrative voice, she tells readers of all aspects of life within the tribe and describes the place of each member within the close-knit society. Chock-full of details of hunting, farming, and survival skills, as well as recreational and spiritual activities, she uses the seasonal cycles and also generational cycles to create a colorful prose poem about these native people and their rich cultural heritage. Her vibrant, almost impressionistic paintings, set against a stunning backdrop of New England wilderness, capture the very essence of these proud, industrious people and introduce readers to their unique, harmonious relationship with the natural world. Informative and inspirational.-- Luann Toth, School Library Journal