CM April 26, 
1996. Vol. II, Number 28

image Nanabosho and the Woodpecker.

Joe McLellan. Illustrated by Rhian Brynjolson.
Winnipeg: Pemmican, 1995. Unpaginated, paper, 9.95.
ISBN: 0-921827-49-0.

Subject Headings:
Nanabush (Legendary character)-Legends.
Ojibwa Indians-Folklore.

Kindergarten - Grade 3 / Ages 5 - 8.
Review by Lorraine Douglas.



     Nokomis took us back to her house for tea and bannock.
     "So, how did your accident happen, my grandson?" asked Nokomis.
     "I was pretending to be an eagle, and when I stood up on the branch it broke."
     Nokomis smiled. "That reminds me of a time when Nanabosho pretended to be a bird. . . ."

THIS IS THE SIXTH book in the very popular "Nanabosho" series. It follows the same structure as the earlier books: an elder tells a traditional story to a contemporary child.

     In this story, young Billy tries to climb a tree and fly like an eagle, but ends up flat on the ground. When he tells Nokomis about this, she tells him the story of how Nanabosho once tried to act like a woodpecker.

     Nanabosho carved a big beak from wood, tied it to his head, and slammed it into a tree to try to get food. All he ends up with is an aching red bulb of a nose. Young listeners can enjoy this funny story, and it can easily be read to a group.

     In Nanabosho and the Woodpecker, the illustrations differ in style from Rhian Brynjolson's previous titles in the series -- Nanabosho Dances (1991); Nanabosho, Soaring Eagle and the Great Sturgeon (1993); and Nanabosho: How the Turtle Got its Shell (1994). Here the pictures are more cartoon-like -- less realistic and intricate than the delicate watercolours of Nanabosho Dances, for example. But they remain very appealing.

Recommended for native studies and library collections.

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