________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 2. . . .September 11, 2009

cover

Spirits, Fairies and Merpeople: Native Stories of Other Worlds.

C. J. Taylor.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2009.
40 pp., hardcover, $21.99.
ISBN 978-0-88776-872-9.

Subject Headings:
Indians of North America-Folklore.
Water spirits.
Fairies.

Grades 2-6 / Ages 7-11.

Review by Linda Ludke.

*** /4

Reviewed from f&g's.

   

excerpt:

Water Lily and her five older brothers lived in a village where the western sea met the land. Her brothers worried about her. Other maidens her age had husbands and children to care for. "Why do you not choose one of the fine young men from our village?" they often asked.

But Water Lily showed no interest in the young men of the village. "My love is in the ocean," she would say. Her brothers could only shake their heads and wonder. Water Lily preferred to spend all her time alone, walking beside the ever-changing ocean and swimming in the coves along the shore." (From "Water Lily Finds her Love.")

 

C.J. Taylor's latest collection of First Nations legends focuses on the interactions between humans and mystical creatures. "The Mermaid" is a heartbreaking Mi'kmaq tale about the love between Lone Bird and Minnow. The "Chief of all the Oceans" grants the mermaid's wish to leave the sea and marry Lone Bird. When they return for an underwater visit, Minnow sacrifices her life to save her husband and daughter from a shark attack. Similar themes are explored in the Coos story, "Water Lily Finds her Love."

internal art     In the Dakota story "The Lodge Eater," a village must contend with an "evil spirit" that morphs from a baby into a winged beast with pointy teeth. The Cree tale "Souls in the Mist" also relates the struggle between the Great Spirit who "ruled all that was good" and the Evil Minded, who "ruled the underworld and all that was wicked." "The Little People" is a Kahnawake cautionary tale about greed.

      Taylor's trademark acrylic paintings accompany each story. Each brightly coloured scene contains mystical elements, from spirits in the sky to mermaids draped in seaweed.

      These seven thought-provoking tales will capture the imagination of storytellers and young listeners alike.

Recommended.

Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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