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Muskrat Will Be Swimming
     

Muskrat Will Be Swimming

by Cheryl Savageau, Robert Hynes (Illustrator)
 

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A heart-warming tale of the lesson a girl learns from a Seneca creation story told to her by her grandfather--a lesson of knowing who you are and staying strong in the face of hurtful criticism. Elegantly illustrated, Muskrat Will Be Swimming is a treasure for all who have dealt with the fear of being different. Full color.

Overview

A heart-warming tale of the lesson a girl learns from a Seneca creation story told to her by her grandfather--a lesson of knowing who you are and staying strong in the face of hurtful criticism. Elegantly illustrated, Muskrat Will Be Swimming is a treasure for all who have dealt with the fear of being different. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The kids in school unkindly call the kids who live by the water "Lake Rats." Jeannie is upset, because she loves the lake and all of the surrounding wildlife. Grandpa tells her a traditional Haudenonsaunee creation story about Skywoman and the bravery of a little muskrat. Jeannie realizes that her heritage, the lake, and her family are important. She is proud to be a Native American who can appreciate all of these things. Realistic and fanciful watercolor illustrations by Hynes in a variety of sizes show readers what Jeannie is seeing and feeling.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6This exquisite, multifaceted tribute to the power of story incorporates issues of cultural diversity, empathy, the environment, andmost universallyintergenerational guidance and love. A Native American girl is ostracized because she lives in "shanty town," a collection of trailers and abandoned vacation cottages along the lake. Jeannie and the other children from her neighborhood have been labeled "Lake Rats." At first, she tries to tell her classmates of the pleasures of nature she regularly experiences. After enough taunting, she decides to keep her feelings to herself. It is the gentle guidance of her grandfather that finally brings Jeannie from shame to appreciation. He leads the child to consider muskrats, the real "lake rats," in a new light. After a vivid dream, Jeannie performs a fitting ritual that establishes her own oneness with the lake and provides her with a newfound sense of well being. Hynes is equally adept at capturing human emotions and the beauty of nature. Full- and half-page illustrations are arranged with an eye-catching use of white space. An interesting note describes the role of stories in Native American cultures, recommends additional reading, and adds more information about muskrats. A unique book with an important message.Lisa S. Murphy, formerly at Dauphin County Library System, Harrisburg, PA
Carolyn Phelan
Living in a lakeside community of "cellar holes, trailers, and old winterized cottages," a girl of Native American and French descent loves her home, but feels demeaned when classmates call her a lake rat. She confides in Grampa, who listens, questions, and reminds her of a legend concerning Muskrat. A dream and a symbolic dive into the lake help the girl fully accept where she's from and who she is. The delicate artwork, done in acrylics and colored pencils, has an appealing, luminous quality. A change in typography marks the telling of the muskrat legend, midway through the girl's story. A handsome picture book that makes its statement quietly and effectively.
Booklist
“The delicate artwork, done in acrylics and colored pencils, has an appealing,
luminous quality. A handsome picture book that makes its statement quietly and effectively.”
Joseph Bruchac
“One of my favorite books for young readers, not just for the beautiful illustrations but for its poetic,
memorable text. No children’s writer I know has done a better job of putting our traditions into the context of modern times while also dealing with the issue of mixed-blood ancestry in a way that is both honest and heart-lifting.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780873586047
Publisher:
Northland Publishing AZ
Publication date:
04/30/1996
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.96(w) x 11.39(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Abenaki poet, Cheryl Savageau has been awarded Fellowships in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists
Foundation, and three residencies at the MacDowell Colony. Her second book of poetry, Dirt Road Home, was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry
Prize. She was awarded Mentor of the Year by Wordcraft Circle of Native
Writers and Storytellers, as well as Writer of the Year for her children's book, Muskrat Will Be Swimming. Savageau also works as a textile artist. Her quilts have recently been exhibited at the
University of New Hampshire in Durham.

After graduating from University of Maryland (B.A. and M.F.A.) he was asked by the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., to paint the murals for its bicentennial celebration; these paintings launched his career.Robert lives in Rockville, Maryland, next to a stream and is often visited by deer, turtles, beaver and muskrats.

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