DANCING WITH THE INDIANS by Angela Shelf Medearis


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Traveling with their parents in a horse-drawn wagon to pay their annual visit to the Oklahoma Seminoles, a boy and girl recall the origins of this family tradition: their grandfather, an escaped slave, was given refuge by the Seminoles and considered a blood brother. In musical, well-honed verse, Medearis summarizes the old story, then focuses on a long night of dancing--a rainbow dance with glorious ribbons, a fierce war dance that recreates a heroic past, and finally, going on until dawn, the Indian Stomp Dance, which the visitors are invited to join. An author's note explains that the story is part of her own family history; the children here are her mother and uncle, but the custom continues to the present. In his first children's book, Byrd provides dramatically evocative scenes that vary from realistic to impressionistic. His figures can be well observed but are uneven in quality; still, firelight dancing isn't an easy subject, and he has tackled it with intelligence and imagination. A fine addition to the multicultural scene.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1991
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House