MOUSE WOMAN AND THE VANISHED PRINCESSES by Christie Harris

MOUSE WOMAN AND THE VANISHED PRINCESSES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

All six stories in Harris' third collection of Northwest Coast Indian tales deal with princesses who are kidnapped or captured by animals or spirits. And, in all, the Mouse Woman plays an important offstage role, ""darting in and out of the tales,"" as Harris puts it, sometimes as a little woman, sometimes as a white mouse, but always grateful for someone's woolen ear ornament which her ravelly fingers can shape into a nesty pile. Reading all six together makes the unifying themes seem only repetitive, and Harris sometimes plays Mouse Woman for her marginally cloying cuteness while playing the rest of it straight. But separately the treacherous, wrinkled old arrowmaker who feeds princesses to the birds, the scorned but noble bear husband who tries to bring peace and teach the arrogant humans a lesson, and even that old trickster Raven who punishes the children by carrying them off on a magic feather, stir up enough atmospheric mischief, and reveal enough of Haida and Tsimshian culture, to put this on the level of the author's Once More Upon a Totem (1973)--though not up there with Martin's Raven-Who-Sets-Things-Right (1975).

Pub Date: April 16th, 1976
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Atheneum