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BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY by Joseph Bruchac

BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY

By Joseph Bruchac (Author) , Thomas Locker (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-15-200042-9
Publisher: Harcourt

From the creators of The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet (1995), philosophical free-verse legends about (and portraits of) places across the US and the native people who hold them sacred. Little Turtle asks his uncle, Old Bear, about the existence and meaning of sacred places; Old Bear's answer is a procession of legends, each accompanied by a full-page painting. Each tale is colorful, if stiff; each contains an ethical point; each represents a direction or an aspect of direction by which people locate themselves in physical and spiritual landscapes: east, west, north, south, center, above, below, balance lost, and balance held. The superfluous framework of the uncle and nephew's conversation includes a throwaway reference to a powwow they'll be attending later that day; much of what Old Bear conveys in these scenes is also covered by Bruchac in an author's note that precedes them. In fact, the frame (and Old Bear's overarching first-person presence in the legends) distances readers, creating a gap that the real beckoning treasures of this book--the tales themselves and Locker's monumental oil landscapes--cannot bridge. (Picture book/folklore. 6+)