Volume 21 Number 4
This collection of five short stories provides an interesting blend of original and traditional tales from the Salish culture. In each story, the young reader travels on a journey through both nature and the supernatural and at the end discovers one of life's lessons, just as they were once revealed to Salish children by their traditional storyteller.
The author, Ellen White, lives on Vancouver Island, where she teaches native studies and the Coast Salish language. Her Salish name, which means "many stars," forms the title of this book. The five tales in this collection have been adapted from the stories that the author uses to teach her students about Native traditions and culture.
Each story is illustrated by from one to five colourful illustrations. These full-page paintings are by artist David Neel, who is from the Kwagiulth First Nation in Fort Rupert, B.C.
These stories could be used to enhance a study unit on west-coast Native people for grades 4 to 6. It should be noted that there are no references to the origins of these stories or to the Coast Salish people. Some additional study material to put the stories in context would have made this book more useful to those unfamiliar with Native cultures.
Recommended (with reservations noted).
Patricia Fry is a teacher-librarian with the Peel Board of Education in Mississauga, Ontario.
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