THE DRAGONFLY'S TALE by Kristina--Adapt. & Illus. Rodanas
Kirkus Star


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Rodanas (The Story of Wali Dad, 1988) retells an ancient Zuni tale, scrupulously noting her source as an 1884 transcription that she has ""simplified...[adding] some details of my own [in] the way of storytellers."" The result is a blend of cautionary tale and why story: Celebrating an abundant harvest, the Ashiwi stage a mock battle--literally, a food fight--that angers the Corn Maidens; they refuse their blessings, and famine follows. Most of the people flee, but two forgotten children fashion a lovely winged creature (the first dragonfly) from a withered cornstalk. It flies to the Corn Maidens, who restore their bounty; the other villagers return, both wiser and kinder. Rodanas's narration is clear and straightforward; her skillfully composed paintings, attractively showcased in the book's large format, are realistic and carefully researched, including many authentic details (such as architecture and pottery designs) and evoking the Southwest in broad sweeps of beautifully observed earth and sky. A fine addition to Native American folklore collections.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1992
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Clarion/Houghton Mifflin