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C.J. Taylor

Montreal, Tundra Books, 1990. 24pp, cloth, $12.95
ISBN 0-88776-254-9. CIP

Kindergarten to Grade 3/Ages 5 to 8
Reviewed by Joan Skogan.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

C.J. Taylor's illustrations for How Two-Feather Was Saved from Loneliness are as strong and beautiful as the Abenaki legend they accompany. Much less attention has been given to the text for this story of the origin of fire and corn.

Two-Feather is at first alone in a forest Taylor has made so deeply green and real we can almost walk into the page. Her image of the beautiful, long­haired spirit woman who entices him to follow her is star-bright and truly compelling. But in telling the Corn Goddess' story, Taylor uses the word "woman" once at the beginning of her text, followed by repeated and some­times awkward ("At nightfall they came to a lake. He could not get close to her. ..) use of "she" or "her." The self-sacrifice of the Goddess who offers her body to the earth in order to sow the first corn is diminished to "she was no longer there."

How Two-Feather Was Saved from Loneliness is to be distributed in the United States, Great Britain and France, as well as Canada. The power of the story including the creation of fire and the food which made community life possible, along with the sorrow of love between the human and spiritual worlds, deserves the rich depths of CJ. Taylor's paintings. The text deserves editing, to strengthen and deepen the content.

Joan Skogan, Vancouver, B.C.
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