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Jocelyne Villeneuve
Illustrated by Luc Robert

Kapuskasing (Ont.), Penumbra Press, 1988. 103pp, paper, $9.95
ISBN 0-920806-95-3.

Grades 5 and up / Ages 10 and up
Reviewed by Janice Foster.

Volume 17 Number 5
1989 September

Jocelyne Villeneuve, author of the popular Nanna Bijou: The Sleeping Giant has provided young readers with another Indian legend, Greenmantle. Illustrator Luc Robert has captured the story's magic with his black-and-white drawings.

Set in the wild northland around Thunder Bay, the story unfolds with the news of the Sioux's capture of Green-mantle, the only daughter of the chief of the Algoma domain. The hostile captors led by the savage Ogama Dog hold the maiden in ransom for the coveted territory of the Ojibway. North Star, a clever young craftsman of the Ojibway tribe, is determined to save his beloved Greenmantle and win the honour of having her as his wife. The present-tense narrative develops into a series of events that make up this an­cient love story: the legend of Greenmantle.

Readers of Indian folklore will be aware of the distinctive style of the prose. Villeneuve captures the clarity and simplicity in her imagery. The author's poetic influence is also notable in the descriptive passages. Children unfamiliar with this style of literature might experience some difficulty getting into the flow of the story. The text is suitable for reading aloud and Greenmantle would be a useful addition in a literature study of legends and Indian folklore.

Janice Foster, Winnipeg, Man.
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