Children's Books

THE STORY OF THE MILKY WAY: A CHEROKEE TALE by Joseph Bruchac. Dial Books for Young Readers, 375 Hudson St., N.Y., NY 10014, (212) 366-2000, (212) 366-2666 FAX. Illustrated, author's notes. 32 pp., $14.99 cloth. 0-8037-1737-7. Ages 4 - 8

      "This is what the old people told me when I was a child"

When the world was new, there were few stars in the sky and corn was the staple of the Cherokee people. One morning, an elderly couple discover that a giant spirit dog has been eating their cornmeal during the night. The next time he appears, the people jump out from hiding, beating drums and shaking rattles, and chase the dog into the sky. As he flies away, cornmeal drops from his mouth and becomes the stars of the Milky Way, called Gil'liutsun stanun'yi, or "the place where the dog ran" in Cherokee. As are most Native American folktales, this story is full of enchantment and guidance at the same time. Stroud's acrylic illustrations leave little distinction between individuals other than hair color, but her spirit dog is a forceful apparition. Grade: B+. Reviewed by Steve Brock

File: ch7

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

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