This book in Lerner's "First Peoples" series is an attractively designed introduction to a complex topic. Although adult readers, and probably child readers, too, will have many unanswered questions after reading the book, various aspects of the lives of the Yanomami, the "world's largest native group still living a traditional lifestyle" are touched upon, and suggested web sites, videos and books lead to additional information. The Amazon River, the nature of the rainforest, the unknown origins of the Yanomami, and the increasing threat of gold mining, logging and disease on this traditional culture are pointed out. The lives of children, language, work, clothing and rituals are among many topics that are briefly discussed. Colorful borders surround easily manageable blocks of text arranged with colorful photos with irregular edges on pleasing white space. There are instances where more complete captions on the photos would be welcome, although all the photos are captioned--a plus. The map of the Amazon and the location of the Yanomami could be better (it doesn't look like they are on the Amazon). Some of the photos could have been taken in any jungle, and the animal that the boy is holding in the attractive title page photo is never identified. But overall, this book is an adequate introduction to the lives of the Yanomami. 2002, Lerner, $23.93. Ages 10 to 12. Reviewer: Linnea Hendrickson
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Colorfully bordered spreads introduce each group, the habitat in which they live, the plants and animals native to the region, and early contacts with outsiders. Later spreads consider traditional and modern lifestyles: home construction, foods, clothing and fashion, languages, performing arts, crafts, recreation, myths and spirits, and rituals associated with birth and death. The attractive layouts feature photographs, usually in full color, as well as adequate maps. Text boxes with colorful backgrounds expand on the information. A list of up-to-date books, videos, and Web sites, along with organizations to contact, concludes each volume. Inuit gives very small dimensions for the blocks of snow used in making igloos; Hmong focuses primarily on those living in northern Vietnam. And, oddly, Yanomami pictures a miner's hand holding liquid mercury; the accompanying text states that "Mercury is very poisonous," while the glossary notes that it "can harm people who eat, drink, or touch it." Overall, however, these series entries are good choices for reports.-Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.