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White Bead Ceremony
     

White Bead Ceremony

by Sherrin Watkins, Kim Doner (Illustrator)
 
This delightful picture book is for children 6 to 10. It is the first in a series about Mary Greyfeather, a contemporary Native American girl whose world bridges two distinct cultures, that of the traditional Shawnee and that of a typical American child.

Overview

This delightful picture book is for children 6 to 10. It is the first in a series about Mary Greyfeather, a contemporary Native American girl whose world bridges two distinct cultures, that of the traditional Shawnee and that of a typical American child.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
First-time author Watkins, who is of Shawnee and Cherokee heritage, pens a sympathetic if wordy story that boasts a rarity for books about Native American culture: a realistic, contemporary setting. Four-year-old Mary's grandmother decides it's high time that the child receives her Shawnee name, and the task of selecting just the right one is entrusted to the elder women of the family. They focus on the horse-name group--helpful, hard-working, beautiful horses, the reader learns, were an important part of Shawnee culture--and choose Wapapiyeshe (it means ``white-necked, moving''). But when relatives gather for the ceremony, Mary's aunt Laura, who was supposed to bring the white bead necklace traditionally given to a girl at her naming, has car trouble and can't come. Grandma Greyfeather saves the day with a necklace made of white buttons from the sewing basket and the celebration begins. The book provides a welcome glimpse at how tribal traditions are woven into the fabric of modern-day life; its educational value is enhanced by the inclusion of Shawnee vocabulary cut-out ``flashcards'' and a thumbnail-sketch history of the Shawnee people. But it never entirely rises above the double handicap of an overlong text and pedestrian illustrations. Ages 5-8. (June)
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Mary's family attempt to bridge their two cultures, contemporary American and Shawnee, through the naming ceremony, otherwise known as the White Bead Ceremony. While the historical aspect of this tale are enjoyable and enlightening, it is probably too long to share in one sitting with elementary age children. At the end of the book the author has provided a history of the Shawnee and removable flashcards with words from the Shawnee vocabulary. There is a pronunciation key to the Shawnee alphabet, however, a pronunciation guide for the individual words would have been more useful. Doner's colorful and whimsical art is complimentary to the text. From the "Greyfeather" series.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780933031265
Publisher:
Council Oak Books
Publication date:
06/01/1994
Series:
The Greyfeather Ser.
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
40
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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