The Windigo's Return: A North Woods Story

Overview

Professional storyteller Douglas Wood, author of the bestselling Old Turtle, tells one of his most popular tales. Both scary and funny, The Windigo's Return is based on an Ojibwe legend which recounts the winter when the People of the North Woods began to disappear, one by one. Exquisite, earthy paintings by Greg Couch make this book as pleasing to look at as it is to read. Full color.

When the fearsome Windigo begins to prey upon the People of the North Woods, a ...

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Couch, Greg 1996 Hard cover First edition. New in very good dust jacket. cover slight wrikling at top no tears new book Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. Picture book. 32 p. ... Audience: Children/juvenile. Read more Show Less

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Couch, Greg New York, NY, U.S.A. 1996 Hard Cover First Edition New in New jacket 4to-over 9?"-12" tall. Signed by Author 1st Ed. so stated, 1st Printing, HB/DJ, new, not ... paginated. SIGNED by Author, beautiful color illustrations, pictorial DJ. When the fearsome Windigo begins to prey upon the People of the North Woods, a girl named Morning Star comes up with a plan to stop him. A suspenseful retelling of an Ojibwe legend, by the author of the best-selling award-winning Old Turtle. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Professional storyteller Douglas Wood, author of the bestselling Old Turtle, tells one of his most popular tales. Both scary and funny, The Windigo's Return is based on an Ojibwe legend which recounts the winter when the People of the North Woods began to disappear, one by one. Exquisite, earthy paintings by Greg Couch make this book as pleasing to look at as it is to read. Full color.

When the fearsome Windigo begins to prey upon the People of the North Woods, a girl named Morning Star comes up with a plan to stop him.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When members of the Ojibwe tribe begin to disappear mysteriously, the white-hairs, or elders, believe that a fearsome Windigo is to blame. But they are stumped about how to vanquish a shape-shifting giant, until a small girl suggests a plan. Not only does the resolution take care of the Windigo, but the curse of the Windigo also provides an explanation for why mosquitoes bite. Wood (Old Turtle) spins a taut and suspenseful tale, and deftly establishes cultural context by incorporating evocative Ojibwe names and phrases. Couch's (The Man-in-the-Moon in Love) stylized, complexly textured illustrations in acrylic and colored pencil create a dense atmosphere, taking readers to another time and place. The gnarled, craggy faces of the elders resemble wooden masks; the pictures' burnished tones and murky shadows add a mysterious, sometimes sinister edge to the legend. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Armin A. Brott
One by one, in the land of the Ojibwe, the people are disappearing into the forest. One of the village elders suspects that a Windigo, a terrible giant with the power to turn himself into anything he wants, is devouring his people. The villagers are scared: should they fight? Should they run? each option seems more hopeless than the next-until a girl named Morning Star devised a plan to capture the monster. This ancient native American tale is equal parts suspense and humor, and Greg Couch's luminous illustrations take us deep inside the land-and the hearts-of the Ojibwe.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-When the white-haired elders surmise that the Windigo-"the terrible giant of the forest"-is abducting some of the People, they adopt a young girl's scheme to trap him in the bottom of a pit. The burning embers they throw into it destroy the spirit being, but not before he threatens to "come back again and again and again-and I'll eat you, and you, and you, and your children and their grandchildren, forever and ever!" To prevent that, at night the People scatter the Windigo's ashes. However, these ashes return the following summer as mosquitoes, eating the People as the creature had promised. Wood cites an unnamed Ojibwe woman as his source for a version of this folktale. The text appears in large blocks, giving the impression of a lengthy story, when, for the most part, the narrative moves briskly and suspensefully. Unfortunately, a design decision forces the placement of certain sections of text over distracting backgrounds. The artist's atmospheric, heavily stylized acrylic and pencil illustrations lack variety. The pictures are dominated by red (many scenes take place at night in front of a fire) and gray tones, swirling shapes, and elongated tree trunks; they leave nothing to a child's imagination, including the fiery form of the burning Windigo. Where there is high demand for scary folktales or pourquoi stories, or where there is regional interest, this book is an acceptable purchase.-Ellen Fader, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Kirkus Reviews
Wood (Northwoods Cradle Song, p. 302, etc.) has wisely chosen to adapt a Windigo tale that explains nature, rather than one that induces nightmares (the Windigo figures in north woods tales as everything from a monster to a symbol of men driven wild by the wilderness itself; tales about them make for classic "ghost stories" for around the campfire) for this book. When a band of Ojibwe notices that some hunters, then an old grandmother, have disappeared, the elders of the tribe are consulted. One of them recalls the story of the Windigo, who long ago caused people to vanish in a similar way. At the tribal council, the suggestion to trap the Windigo in a large pit seems the only solution. When the Windigo falls into the trap, the tribe finishes him off with fire. The Windigo's dying curse—to come back and eat the tribe and all future generations—seems to come true the following summer, when mosquitoes plague the tribe with bites.

The changing seasons flow through this story like a slow river, linking the plot to nature's calendar. Couch's hazy style of illustration portrays the north woods as a setting where possibility always lurks in the mist, a perfect place for tales to grow.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689800658
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.92 (w) x 11.32 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Wood

Douglas Wood is the author of A Quiet Place as well as the New York Times bestselling Can't Do series. His books Old Turtle and Old Turtle and the Broken Truth were both international bestsellers. He lives in a cabin in the woods of Minnesota. A studied naturalist, Douglas shares his knowledge of nature as a wilderness guide.

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