AND IT IS STILL THAT WAY by Byrd--Ed. Baylor


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The old legends written down by Papago children in an Arizona school inspired Baylor to travel around the state asking Navajo, Hopi, Pima, and other Indian children to tell their favorite stories. The happy result is these 41 brief tales, arranged into six categories (origin of cosmic and animal features, transformations, heroes, coyote the trickster, and magic) and told with charm, concision, and natural assurance. The stories of magic are really about the sacredness of all natural things, which these children take for granted--but there is a vein of down-to-earth humor too, as in the explanation of why dogs sniff or the cautionary ""Do You Want to Turn into a Rabbit?"" It is interesting that none of the hero tales are of warriors, and that of the nine coyote tales selected, the trickster comes out on top in only two--and one of those is a joke on Anglo prospectors. One suspects an editorial hand in the writing, but only because these read so exactly as children's story-telling should; one appreciates the sensitivity of the production, which uses the children's black-and-white drawings as small, engaging accents.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Scribners