CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Retold by Bernadette Rossetti

Vanderhoof (B.C.), Yinka Dene Lan­guage Institute, 1991. 36pp, cloth, $8.95
ISBN 1-895276-00-5. CIP

Kindergarten to Grade 3/Ages 5 to 8
Reviewed by Sharon A. McLennan McCue.

Volume 19 Number 5
1991 October

Publishing children's books in two languages is not new to this country. Tundra has been publishing books with both French and English text for some time; however, this book is published in English and Carrier — a language which is less familiar to most Canadians than French. It is an excellent way to intro­duce a broad readership to both a Carrier Indian legend and the Carrier language.

The book is well laid out with a page of text (split down the middle, half Carrier, half English) facing a water-colour illustration. The illustrations are done with a light (and sometimes humorous) hand and are a perfect complement to the text.

The legend concerns a little boy who will not listen to his parents and refuses to go to bed when he is told to do so. As a result of his disobedience he is carried off by an owl. The owl wishes to raise the boy so that the boy will look after the owl when the owl is old and unable to hunt.

Awakening and discovering that his son is missing, the boy's father sets out to find him. The father finds the boy, rescues him from the owl's nest, and takes him home. When the owl returns to his nest he discovers that the boy is gone and follows the boy and his father. In his quest to find and reclaim the boy the owl almost drowns before being saved by the people from whose village he stole the child. In the end, the owl promises not to bother children anymore but to hunt only for rabbits.

This is an interesting legend, which could be enjoyed by children of all ages. The language in the English translation does not always flow as smoothly as one might hope, but the book is nevertheless a worthy addition to this country's steadily growing collection of aboriginal children's literature.

Sharon A. McLennan McCue, Ottawa, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works