CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 29 . . . . April 3, 2015
Weigl Educational Publishers has expanded their Aboriginal nonfiction titles to include the Aboriginal Legends of Canada series. There are six titles in total: Cree, Haida, Huron, Inuit, Iroquois, and Metis. The two offered for review are Blackfoot and Sioux.
Each book begins with a brief introduction of the specific Aboriginal culture, and then it explores traditional legends from each culture on topics of creation, nature, life lessons, and heroic tales. The traditional legend topics are respectfully prefaced with reference to Aboriginal world views. After establishing a context for the legend, author Megan Cuthbert presents the legend to readers.
The topics and legends are presented in language that can be easily understood by children. The book does include Aboriginal terms that children may not be familiar with. These complex terms are explained in the “Key Words” section at the end of the book to ensure the text remains accessible to all readers.
The text quantity per page is well balanced with graphic elements. Colour photographs of Aboriginal people, their environment and culture, highlight the feature legend topic. In addition, colourful illustrations accompany each retelling of the legends. Each book is accompanied by an activity section where readers are prompted to create something that relates to a legend presented in the book.
Concluding each book is a dedicated section to promote “Further Resources” for learning. This section explains how to locate materials at your local library, as well as suggestions for reliable website content. This book also includes an index for easy reference. These books are a fabulous resource to drawn on when teaching children how to engage with information texts.
My only major concern was the lack of information provided regarding author Megan Cuthbert. There is no author description to accompany the titles. It would have been beneficial if the books included details regarding the author, her credentials, and her relationship to Aboriginal legends. The books also do little to acknowledge that some Aboriginal stories are free for sharing while other belong to specific Aboriginal groups and require special credentials for sharing. I would have liked to see some tribute to the complexity of Aboriginal storytelling as part of Aboriginal culture.
Despite these shortcomings, I would recommend this series for children age nine to twelve, both for school projects and general interest. This series acts as an excellent classroom resource to guide children in learning about the basics of Aboriginal legends.
Rachel Yaroshuk is a Teen Librarian with Burnaby Public Library in Burnaby, BC.
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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 © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.