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ENDURING WISDOM by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve


Sayings from Native Americans

edited by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve & illustrated by Synthia Saint James

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 15th, 2003
ISBN: 0-8234-1455-8
Publisher: Holiday House

Sneve, whose Dancing Tepees (1989) has reached the status of a classic, has here selected 34 wise quotations from various Native-American sources. Although a majority of the selections are from the oral tradition or from historical sources, Sneve does include quotes from contemporary ones, including Wilma Mankiller (1993), a Hopi man remembering his youth (1940), and a Laguna Pueblo author (1996). The quotes range from the profound to the reflective and promise to engage the reader, but potential energy seems to be neutralized by the boldly colored, but flat, stylized illustrations—illustrations devoid of any expression. Saint James’s (To Dinner, for Dinner, 2000, etc.) illustrations utilize strong, simple shapes and faceless figures. Each piece is an acceptable piece of art but, as a group, the illustrations do little to complement or enhance the emotions, meaning, and vitality that are inherent in the words presented. The satisfying text is not quite enough to redeem the overall package. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)