Children's Books

GLUSKABE AND THE FOUR WISHES, retold by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Christine Nyburg Shrader. Cobblehill Books, 375 Hudson St., N.Y., NY 10014, (800) 331-4624, FAX: (212) 366-2666. Illustrated. 32 pp., $14.99 cloth. 1-525-65164-0

Gluskabe, helper of the Great Spirit and revered by the Wabanaki peoples of New England, which includes Bruchac's Western Abenaki, grants one wish each to four visitors of his remote island: one wants many fine possessions, another desires great height, a third wishes for long life, and the last requests the ability to provide for his family by being a good hunter. Each of the four is given a pouch, to be opened only upon their arrival at home. The three who wanted things for themselves can't wait, and peek into their pouches with disastrous results. The fourth waits, and is told how to hunt by the animals themselves. The virtues of forbearance, modesty, and charity are dramatically exemplified in this pleasing folktale, though Shrader's oil illustrations are bleak and murky. Grade: A-. 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