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Bonnie Shemie
Montreal, Tundra Books, 1991. 24pp, cloth, $12.95
ISBN 0-88776-269-7. CIP

Grades 2 to 4 / Ages 7 to 9

Reviewed by Sharon A. McLennan McCue.

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

Houses of Hide and Earth is the third in a series of books about the traditional habitations of North American native people. Tundra has a long tradition of producing visually appealing books and this is no exception.

This book is well bound and beauti­fully illustrated but that does not completely make up for what it lacks in clarity of writing. On the first page one gets the impression that many of the Plains Indians spent a goodly portion of their time farming, with buffalo hunting as a sideline. Most research to date would suggest otherwise, so if the writer has new insights to offer in this regard, greater detail would be wel­comed.

While the author's sensitivity to the significance of such powerful symbols as the circle is to be applauded, her use of "the white man" to indicate all non-native contact might have been more thoughtfully handled.

The book provides a wealth of information not only about the dwell­ings of the Plains Indians but also about the culture of the people who inhabited them. With books about the aboriginal people of North America becoming ever more available, we begin to have the luxury of being more critical of what appears. While this book should be added to the collection already begun by its predecessors, that should not be done without an awareness of the small difficulties with the text, which can be overlooked, given the book's virtues.

Sharon A. McLennan McCue, Ottawa, Ont.
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