Children's Books

THE RAINBOW BRIDGE by Audrey Wood, paintings by Robert Florczak. Harcourt Brace & Company, 525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101, (800) 543-1918, FAX: (800) 235-0256. Illustrated. 32 pp., $16.00 cloth. 0-15-265475-5 Ages 6 - 10

Wood retells the Chumash creation myth, as well as one of the tribe's most beloved legends. According to the oral tradition, the tribe, which lives along the south-central California coast, came into existence when the goddess Hutash planted seeds on an island called Limuw (now known as Santa Cruz Island off the coast of Santa Barbara) and instead of plants, humans grew out of the ground. In the legend from which the book obtains its title, the island becomes crowded and Hutash creates a rainbow linking the island with the mainland. Many Indians walk over it, but several fall into the ocean and are turned into dolphins. The stories are skillfully told and illustrated with vibrant oils, but when Wood brings the tribe up to date in her preface, there is no mention of their frustrating quest for official recognition from the federal government, which could have helped their cause. Grade: B+. Reviewed by Steve Brock


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Native American BOOKS, text and graphics copyright Paula Giese, 1996

Last Updated: Monday, March 11, 1996 - 11:37:17 AM