Grandfather Bear: A Story Told in Cree.
Madeline Davis, Sr. Translated by Della Owens, Harriet Landry. Illustrated by Donna Cameron.
Grades 3 - 6 / Ages 8 - 11.
The bear told her that there was better berry picking further, so the girl started to follow him. As they walked, the bear used his sacred powers so they could not be followed. He led her away from where her mother was.
In this British Columbia folklore tale the grandfather of a teenage girl appears to her as one of the sacred bears and leads her away to teach her the sacred ways. They stay for a winter in a tipi which the bear builds within a hole in the ground he had dug using his magic to keep them hidden from the people hunting for the girl. At the end of the winter her father is allowed to find the girl and take her home. She now knows many special things and will be able to lay her hands on people to heal them.
In the way this family tale is given to us by Madeline Davis Sr. of Moberly Lake, we feel a part of the storytelling tradition of the Cree people. Indeed, it almost feels like Davis is telling her own story.
Donna Cameron illustrates this book with simple black-and-white drawings which have their own power to interest and enthrall the reader. She is a self-taught artist who did the illustrations for the first Twin Sisters publication, Going to Visit Kou-Kum.
This could be a good addition to a collection of Canadian aboriginal folk tales.
Brian Rountree is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian School Library Association.
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Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - May 9, 1997.
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