CM April 19, 
1996. Vol. II, Number 27

image Songs for Survival.

Compiled by Nikki Siegen-Smith. Illustrated by Bernard Lodge.
Toronto, ON: Key Porter, 1996. 80pp, cloth, $24.95.
ISBN: 1-55013-695-X.

Subject Heading:
Folk songs--Texts--Juvenile literature

Grades 4 - 6 / Ages 9 - 11.
Review by Lorraine Douglas.


Our Children's Earth

(Nomadic Pastoralists, Africa)

Treat the earth well.
It was not given to us by our fathers,
But is lent to us by our children.

What is happiness?

(Santal, Asia)

In life, what is happiness?
In life, what is joy?
To be in love with others
For when we die,
We go with no one.

imageThis attractive volume gathers songs from tribal peoples all over the world in four thematic chapters in. The themes are:

Each chapter has an easy-to-read introduction that explains the significance of the theme to aboriginal peoples. Each song is illustrated with a boldly coloured linocut that reflects the tribe's art forms. A continuous decorative border at the bottom of each page adds to the unity of the design.


Notes beneath each of the songs add to their meaning and understanding. The selections range from poignant songs of loss to prayers for rain to wonderful poetic imagery. A very brief description of each tribes is included, but a world map with locations would have added to children's understanding. One section explains the work of Survival International, a worldwide organization that supports tribal peoples. A helpful index to the first lines of the fifty-six songs is included, but again, a listing by world region would have been useful for researchers looking for resource materials from specific continents.


Lorraine Douglas is Youth Services Coordinator for the Winnipeg Public Library.

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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