Nineteen poems, mostly from the oral tradition as preserved in the Smithsonian and other collections dating back as far as the late 19th century, as well as from contemporary sources including several poems by the compiler. Sneve introduces her selections with a tribute to Indians' respect for the power of the spoken word. Elemental truths, simply yet gracefully expressed, characterize these brief pieces: nature as metaphor (the circle of life likened to a nest-like circle of teepees); lullabies, again referring to nature or to the baby's future (""My little son,/you will put a whale harpoon/and a sealing spear into your canoe,/not knowing what use you will make of them""). There is plenty of variety here, in subject, tone, and tribal source. Written sources are carefully acknowledged. Employing Indian motifs, new Caldecott-winner Gammell provides decorative settings rather than illustrations, often filling the pages yet carefully designing his art to support rather than compete with the poetry. Muted tones and skillfully nuanced repetitions contribute to the serene, balanced effect of his compositions. A fine addition to material on Native Americans.