The creators of Many Winters (1974) and Spirit Walker (1993) strike a resonant chord that easily overcomes any preachiness in this arresting work of poems and portraits. It may fall into the hands of the picture-book set, but its audience is teenagers (and adults). The meditations that begin each section, based on Pueblo Indian lore, call readers back from the age of computers and call-waiting, but the book becomes more satisfying when Wood ditches New Age babble and lets words dance: A dreaming man is ""an old bear caught/Between the jaws of winter, who remembers only/the sweet, warm promise of honey."" Best of all are Howell's paintings, stunning in their drama and clarity. Nature, in this elemental world, ceases to be an abstract concept and becomes a simple presence, real as mud or rain, with no distinction between the earth and the people who inhabit it.