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Spider Spins a Story: Fourteen Legends from Native America

Spider Spins a Story: Fourteen Legends from Native America

5.0 1
by Jill Max, Robert Annesley (Illustrator), Benjamin Harjo (Illustrator)

Fourteen legends from Native America


Fourteen legends from Native America

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Visiting the lore of 14 different peoples, Max (the pseudonym of writing team Ronia K. Davidson and Kelly Bennett) offers some intriguing spins on the spider's role in Native American legend. Here the spider occasionally plays the part of trickster but most often appears as Spider Woman, "Grandmother of the Earth," variously representing wisdom, good fortune or light. Some of the stories' best lines are delivered by arachnids (for example, the heroine of an Osage legend explains why she is superior to other creatures: "Where I am, I build my house.... And where I build my house, all things come to it"). The entries are sometimes long-winded and potentially confusing; standouts, on the other hand, include a Zuni tale in which a trickster tarantula gets the last laugh and an Achomawi legend that describes how the Spider Brothers helped Old Man Above create the first rainbow. Full-page illustrations by six Native American artists make up the volume's uneven graphics. Ages 8-12. (July) FYI: One-third of the book's profits will go to the American Indian Theater Company.
Children's Literature - Alexandria LaFaye
This book of legends is a testament to the communal nature of legend. With a writing team as editors (Jill Max is a pseudonym for Ronia Davidson and Kelly Bennet), a collection of Native American artists as illustrators, and an acknowledged pool of ancestors and storytellers as guardians of these stories, the book is a testament to the community spirit of Native Americans and the living heart of their legends. The various artistic styles and the diverse backgrounds of the tales within the book provide a glimpse into the vast diversity of the Native American cultures in the United States. Each tale begins with a brief description of the culture it originated from to place it in context. Celebrating the role of the spider within many cultural traditions, this book allows readers to see the spider as trickster, ally, mentor, and miracle worker. And in a gesture that is too often overlooked, the editors point out that the tales retold in this book are only one view of these tales and should not be taken as cultural "Truth." A portion of the proceeds for this book will benefit the American Indian Theater Company, a nonprofit organization for Native American young people.
School Library Journal
Gr 2 UpReaders will be surprised and pleased with the arachnid characters, female and male, presented in this collection of 14 Native American tales. Tribes from various areas of North America have their own unique legends, and the spiders in these one to five page stories take on a variety of roles. Striking, full-color illustrations by Native artists accompany the stories. Brief introductions precede the selections and the book concludes with source notes and information about the illustrators. A worthwhile addition to both folktale and Native American collections.Darcy Schild, Schwegler Elementary School, Lawrence, KS

Product Details

Cooper Square Publishing Llc
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
8.55(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.29(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Spider Spins a Story: Fourteen Legends from Native America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Angie_Lisle More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite collections of Native American stories. This book offers lovely renditions of the tales and each story is accompanied with historical information pertaining to the tribe that contributed the tale. The gorgeous illustrations depict a variety of tribal-inspired art. I wish this book was more readily available in hardback - kids are rough on paperbacks and this paperback version probably wouldn't have survived my childhood (and this book is one that I would have wanted to keep forever, even as a young child). I recommend tracking down a hardback copy for serious collectors of myths and legends.