THE MAGIC OF SPIDER WOMAN by Lois Duncan

THE MAGIC OF SPIDER WOMAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A picture-book version of a Navajo legend. The art of weaving is passed from the great spirit Spider Woman to Wandering Girl, renamed Weaving Woman, when she is in danger of freezing. There are conditions: Weaving Woman must lead a balanced life and never do anything in excess. When Weaving Woman sets out to make the most beautiful blanket in the world, she finds her spirit bound in the threads of her creation, all but dead to her loving husband. Spider Woman releases her, and that's why every such blanket has an escape route--a ""flaw""--to allow the weaver's spirit to remain free. After a start too dense with background, irregularities further spoil this tale: Spirit Being, who fills ""the earth, the sky, and the mountaintops,"" teaches all the people his ways, but somehow skips Wandering Girl; enthusiasm and artistic passion somehow become pridefulness; there may be a connection between perfection and entrapment, but children are unlikely to comprehend it. Begay's vibrant paintings are replete with the dreaminess that cradles the story, far outstripping it in their beauty.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1996
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Scholastic