CM . . .
. Volume X Number 9 . . . . January 2, 2004
In "The Reindeer Herder and the Moon," Moon falls in love with a young girl and climbs down to earth. The girl tries to hide, and Reindeer comes to her aid by transforming her into different objects. Moon Man is tricked and promises never again to leave the sky. Magical, dream like elements are also in "Katya and the Goat with the Silver Hoof." Old Vanka, a hunter, and Katya, an orphan, search together for a mythical goat who leaves a jewel behind when he stamps his hoof.
Several tales explore themes of kindness and respect. In "Honest Penny," a boy feels sorry for a frozen stone and warms it with his overcoat. He rejects his mother's cold hearted advice to "Look to thyself. Take care of thyself. For nobody cares for thee." His compassionate actions are rewarded in the end. In "Good Neighbours," Matte and Toller allow the mountain trolls to live in peace. When the trolls move on, they leave behind jewel stones for their friends.
Jirina Marton's oil pastel illustrations complement the stories. Prairie wolves, bears, and ravens are depicted. The purple and blue background colours are beautiful.
Bob Barton's retellings, with their patterned language and vivid images, are perfectly suited to be read aloud. Source notes at the end of the book include details on the origins of the stories. In the introduction, Barton writes about his passion for these tales that capture the "beauty, the mystery, the ordinary, the extraordinary, the funny and the serious of the places they are from." As a child, he was fascinated by a book he borrowed from the library, a book titled Children of the Northern Lights, written by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire. Barton wanted to preserve stories that are at risk of being lost forever. Much to my delight, while reading Barton's collection, I came across a tale I loved as a child "Ander's Hat."
An excellent addition to folktale collections.
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.
on this title or this review, send mail to email@example.com.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.