GIVING: OJIBWA STORIES AND LEGENDS FROM THE CHILDREN OF CURVE LAKE
Compiled and edited by Georgia Elston.
Volume 15 Number 5
"The stories and pictures in this book are a gift to you from the children of Curve Lake Reserve. Giving and sharing are important traditions of Canada's Native People - the Anishinabe." This introduction sums up the purpose of Giving very succinctly. Begun as a school project and funded by a Canada Council grant, this book was worked on with enthusiasm by the children.Thirty-three stories that are the brief retelling of legends are all written by the children of the Anishinabe aged five to twelve. The stories are illustrated with twenty-one pictures also done by the children. In addition, ten photographs of the children and of the Curve Lake Reserve add poignancy and authenticity. An introduction and acknowledgements as well as a five page history of the Ojibwa nation, with special emphasis on Band # 35, are included.Printed in sepia on off-white, the book is 16 x 23 cm. The three-colour front cover, donated by the well-known Indian artist, Norman Knott, depicts the book's theme of giving. The inside back cover is a useful map of the Curve Lake area from Stoney Lake in the west to Bobcaygeon in the east, Buckhorn in the north, and Peterborough in the south. As a sample of the process of children remembering and recording the elders' stories, this is a valuable book. As a source of Indian legends retold in simple language, this will make an excellent source book for school units on Canada's native people. As a sample of what can be done by young children and as an example to all children, this is a must for elementary school libraries. While not as sophisticated a production as Byron and His Balloon ¹ (Tree Frog Press, 1984), Giving will make a worthwhile companion piece to serve as inspiration for all children everywhere to write for publication.
Maureen Pammett, Bridgenorth, ON.
¹ Reviewed vol. XII/5 September 1984, p. 207.
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