Children's Books

INDIAN CAMPFIRE TALES: LEGENDS ABOUT THE WAYS OF ANIMALS AND MEN, W.S. Phillips. New York : Platt & Munk, 1963. (Grades 3-5)

This is an example of the legion of collections of generic "Indian legends" that have been published over the years. What Phillips has compiled is a mishmash of tales of unknown origin. No effort was made to identify the source of the stories or the people who created them. The reader is led to believe that one "Indian" legend is about the same as any other. This is why children come in to libraries looking for information on "Indians" instead of on the Lakota or the Oneida or the Choctaw. The illustrations are based largely on pictographs and rock paintings that have no relation to the stories being told. The introduction claims that "the stories are histories of the tribes", which makes no sense in the context of this book. A book to avoid. Reviewed by Lisa Mitten and Naomi Caldwell-Wood

File: ch48

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

Last Updated: Friday, April 05, 1996 - 4:27:18 AM