YUDONSI by Robert J. Blake


A Tale from the Canyons
Age Range: 6 - 9
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Yusi, a contemporary Native American (no particular community is specified) boy living in a village in the Southwest, loves to write his name on everything: his school desk, trees, rocks, and canyon walls. The other people of Yusi’s village don’t like his markings, or tag, telling him that it is making their surroundings ugly. They mock his name, pronounced “You-see,” by calling him “Yodonsi” (“You-don’t-see”). Yusi is determined to be noticed, climbing to the top of the canyon wall to spray paint his name; he is caught in a landslide and terrible storm. He finds shelter in a cave, where his people also find safety, and Yusi realizes the importance of honoring the land. Blake (Akiak, 1997, etc.) offers dramatic paintings of the landscape, with sweeping double-page scenes that capture the majesty of the towering cliffs in rain and sunshine. The message is a heavy one, but Blake’s reverence for the land is apparent on every page. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-399-23320-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1999