CM February 2,
1996. Vol. II, Number 16

image Wesakejack and the Flood.

Bill Ballantyne. Illustrated by Linda Mullin.
Winnipeg: Bain & Cox, 1994. 32pp, cloth, $12.95 ($18.95 with audio cassette).
ISBN 0-921368-45-3.

Subject Headings:
Wesakejack (Legendary character)-Legends.
Cree Indians-Folklore.

Preschool - grade 6 / Ages 4 - 11.
Review by Margaret Ross.


One morning Wesakejack and his companions woke up to find the rain and the wind had stopped. Soon the sun was shining and the water was still and smooth. The animals asked Wesakejack, "How do we find land? Where is it?" Wesakejack said, "There is land. Under the water. If one of you can get a piece of earth for me, I could expand it into an island."

image This North American native myth is very like the biblical story of flood. Wesakejack sees the fighting and unhappiness of his people and does something about it a -- flood, which teaches a drastic lesson.

After the flood comes, Beaver, Otter, and Muskrat join Wesakejack on his log (showing the native respect and admiration for animals). When Wesakejack tells them they need a piece of earth the get the land back, Muskrat wants to try. Otter and Beaver laugh at the little animal and insist on doing the looking themselves, but both fail. Muskrat of course eventually succeeds, a triumph for the little one that children could identify with.


The book is beautifully done. The illustrations by Linda Mullin are descriptive and will appeal to children.

Including a brief Cree vocabulary makes this a resource as well as a story book. Early grades readers will enjoy this book, but I think it will be useful for all grades, including pre-schoolers.

This is a book I'd consider buying not only for the children's section of our library, but for my grandchildren.


Margaret Ross is a librarian at the Burk's Falls, Armour & Ryerson Union Public Library in Burk's Falls, ON.

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Copyright © 1996 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

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