SONGS FOR SURVIVAL by Nikki Siegen-Smith


edited by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 10
Email this review


 A handsomely packaged collection of lyrics and proverbs, subtitled ``Songs and Chants From Tribal Peoples Around the World,'' gathered from several dozen endangered cultures. Loosely grouped by subject, most of the selections are celebratory: ``I lift my voice like the burning incense of flowers,'' sings an Aztec poet; to an African Dinka, ``My bull is white like the silver fish in the river.'' For an Inuit, ``only one thing/is great;/to see from my home/the day coming. . . .'' Planting songs, lullabies, and children's chants are connected to familiar activities; others, such as the New Guinea ``Cycle of A'Asia''--``Aia sitting seated/sitting forever/Aia living alive/living forever . . .''--are pretty words, removed from context. Lodge's colored linocuts have a naive look that suggests tribal art without evoking any specific culture's style; equally evocative is a running frieze of tiny figures along the bottoms of pages created by Cica Fitipaldi to decorate Brazil's Yanomami Park. Despite scattered glosses and a brief note at the end, readers infer only hints of each culture's individual character, but the universal sense that Earth is powerful in some ways and fragile in others comes through clearly. (Anthology/folklore. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-525-45564-7
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1996


ChildrenCUSTARD SURPRISE by Bernard Lodge
by Bernard Lodge
ChildrenMOULDYLOCKS by Bernard Lodge
by Bernard Lodge
ChildrenNOAH MAKES A BOAT by Pippa Goodhart
by Pippa Goodhart