"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."

Borges

Thursday, February 15, 2007

All the Stars in the Sky: Native Stories of the Heavens


All the Stars in the Sky: Native Stories from the Heavens
Author: C.J. Taylor
Publisher: Tundra Books
ISBN-10: 0887767591
ISBN-13: 978-0887767593


All the Stars in the Sky
is a beautiful book. I’m always a big fan of collections of old folktales, myths and legends, especially when they come from the Americas because there was so much that was lost. Anything reclaimed or re-told is good in my mind. We need our culture and our history. I believe it’s vital. In this book, the author draws on many traditions and their legends inspired by the skies. Each is beautifully told as well as gorgeously illustrated.

I loved the legend of the Old Man and the Sun’s magical leggings. It was witty and funny. The sweeping illustrations in bright sun-colored tones really added depth to both the story and the humor. The illustration of Old Man sitting in the lake to cool himself off after misfiring the leggings arrows of flames was just too great. I laughed and laughed at that one.

Every time we save a legend from our indigenous past, we honor our ancestors. Every time we tell a story from our ancestors, we teach a history lesson to our children. Each story is a pearl of culture, of tradition and fosters both understanding and pride. Our children need these foundations to stand upon. This book is a prayer, an offering to the ancestors. I encourage everyone to buy it, not just those of us who are indigenous. Children will love the stories as will adults. Highly recommended!


About the Author:
C.J. Taylor is an internationally acclaimed artist and children’s author of Mohawk heritage. She has traveled extensively throughout North America helping make the rich cultural history of native people accessible to the young. Her paintings are in many private collections across Canada and the US. She is a self-taught artist and storyteller who has organized exhibitions of Native art across North America. All the Stars in the Sky is C.J. Taylor’s eleventh book. She lives in B.C.

ABOUT THIS BOOK (from the publishe
r)
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The heavens — the sun, the stars, and the moon — have inspired, intrigued, and mystified us from the beginning of time. We’ve always searched for ways to comprehend their beauty and their meaning. Mohawk artist and author C. J. Taylor has drawn from First Nations legends from across North America to present a fascinating collection of stories inspired by the night skies.

The legends — Salish, Onondaga, Blackfoot, Netsilik (Inuit), Wasco, Ojibwa, and Cherokee — are by turns funny, beautiful, tragic, and frightening, but each one is infused with a sense of awe.

From the Ojibwa legend of the great hunter, White Hawk, and his love for an unattainable maiden, or the Salish legend of a magical lake that is threatened when human beings turn greedy and lose their respect for its gifts and for the sun’s power, to the delightful Cherokee legend of Grandmother Spider who brought light to the world, this is an important collection that is enhanced by Taylor’s glorious paintings.

1 comment:

Georganna Hancock said...

This book sounds like a good one. I'll keep my eyes open for it.
Um, could you remove those annoying snapshots? I can't see the pictures and read the material on your interesting blog because of them popping up in the way.