Children's Lit Book Reviews

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Night The Grandfathers Danced
By: Linda Theresa Raczek
Publisher: Rising Moon
Copyright: 1995
Pages: 32
Reading Level: 4-8
Genre: folk tale
"A tender tale, gentle in pacing, spirit, and tone, revolving around a Ute Indian traditional springtime dance."
School Library Journal

Summary: It was Autumn Eyetoo's very first Mama 'kwa 'kap, or better known as the Bear Dance. She was excited and dressed up for this momentous event in her life. As she walked through the sagebrush,, she noticed that all the other children in the crowd were admiring her for her great beauty in dress. This would be a great time for Autumn and her people, for each year they all looked forward to this bear dance. Everyone loved this time of year because it unified everyone in the tribe. Finally, the Great Bear Dance arrived and was about to start. Tasheena, Autumn's friend, invited her to come and join her friends on a colorful blanket laid down on the dirt. As the dance started, Autumn watched a funny, elderly gentleman whip a clown around as the first dancers stepped out and began celebrating. Autumn noticed that this older man kept the dance going by making sure that a man got up when a woman brushed him with her shawl. As an older lady approached Autumn and announced that Autum needed to dance or else she would end up single like her, she got scared and jumped up and ran away before the old man came after her. She then worked up the nerves to go and dance. She gazed at the dancers, but no one would dance with her. She didn't want to miss out on her first Bear Dance and suddenly decided to ask an older grandfather out to dance. He politely agreed. That night Autumn had all the elders in the tribe up and dancing, and this night would be forever known as the The Night the Grandfathers Danced.
Who would benefit from reading this book? This book is very beneficial to anyone who takes the time to pick this book up and read it. This book will help readers understand the lifestyle and even a cultural background of the Native Americans. This is often a heritage that is forgotten by many Americans.
What problems/concerns could this book potentially cause? I don't think that there are any problems and or concerns that are associated with this book.
My reaction: I think that this book help me better understand the Native American heritage. It is a book that I learned from. The illustrations easily fit the text but, more importantly, help maintain the Native American outlook of the book. I definitely recommend this book to all.

posted by Jon Dale at 1:30 PM


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