Friday, September 18, 2009

Series Review: Rosen's Library of Intergenerational Learning, Native Americans. Written by E. Barrie Kavasch, reviewed by Yoda.

I was looking forward to reading this series, but after my disappointment from ABDO (3T News and Reviews: Series Review, Native Americans by ABDO, reviewed by Yoda), I was a bit apprehensive. No worries! These simple but delightful books have none of the same issues.

Each of these six (so far - I hope there will be more!) books alternate between young children and elders, often relatives, in the same tribe. They tell mostly about their everyday life, ways they try to retain their unique culture, and how their families interact with each other.

These would not be very useful for a report on the history of any Indian nation, and are rather vague about location, government, etc. They would be wonderful, however, for imparting a general sense of how children in Native communities are special and at the same time just like every other kid. (Loving pink seems to be pretty universal among all little girls!)

The pictures are wonderful, and add to that theme. You have to love the image of two Crow in full regalia on a souped-up three-wheeler! I have to admit, we were especially tickled by "Apache Children and Their Elders Talk Together". We have found most books about the Apache focus on the northern bands, but this one is entirely about the Mescalero Apache. We have some close ties to that particular reservation, and were eager to see if we recognized any of our patrons. No such luck, but still an enjoyable - and, thankfully, accurate - read.

The only criticism I have of the series is the inordinately high number of pronunciation guides included in the text. It was very distracting, and as most of these books are written at a 4th grade reading level, unnecessary (your 4th grader can't read the word "rodeo"? Seriously?) Rosen usually puts those in the back of the book, in their glossaries, and they really should have followed suit this time.

Other than that, a very nice series, and one we hope to see more of soon. To order yours:

To learn more about the Mescalero (not that we are biased or anything), go to:

Mescalero Apache Home Page

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