The Cherokee, who lived many years ago in what is now the southeastern United States, were excellent basket weavers, a skill that was passed on from mother to daughter. River cane was the material of choice. Stripped, dyed, and dried, the cane was woven into various shaped baskets. Flat-bottomed baskets held fruits and vegetables; tall baskets held grains. After the Cherokee were forced to relocate to what is now Oklahoma in 1838, they had to adapt their basket-making somewhat, as river cane was unavailable. Instead they relied more heavily on white oak, honeysuckle vines, and a plant new to them, the buck brush. Part of "America's First Peoples" series, this book includes enrichment activities to bring the Cherokee culture to life. Activities include how to weave a mat cushion, a recipe to bake Cherokee Cornmeal Cookies, and the game of Disk and Pole. The book also describes Cherokee houses, which looked like upside-down baskets, and discusses village life, including Cherokee weddings. Additional references, including places to write and visit both in person and on the Internet, are included. Through its emphasis on crafts and social life, this book will complement texts on Native American history. 2003, Blue Earth Books/Capstone Press, Patterson
Gr 3-5-These titles each focus on one aspect of the tribe's culture and offer a recipe, craft instructions, and rules for a traditional game. All three are clearly illustrated with reproductions of paintings and historical and current photographs. Sidebars about the people and the tribal name are included. The recommended Web sites are reached through Fact Hound, a central site, by using the ISBN number for each book. Most of the sites are too advanced for this age group. No maps are included in any of the titles. By focusing on one cultural activity, the books' usefulness for reports is limited. Still, each title does have information that may not be found in other sources.-S K Joiner, Brazoria County Library System, Angleton, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.