Monster Birds: A Navajo Folktale

Vee Browne, Retold by, Vee Browne, Author, Baje Whitethorne, Illustrator
Vee Browne, Retold by, Vee Browne, Author, Baje Whitethorne, Illustrator Northland Publishing $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-87358-558-3
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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Rooted in a Navajo folktale, this sequel to Monster Slayer again involves the Hero Twins. Here they battle the Monster Birds who have preyed upon the Anasazi villagers. Captured by the Monster Birds and taken to their nest, the Twins kill the Monster Birds with lightning arrows and use their magic feathers to change their enemies' fledglings into the eagle and owl. With the aid of their grandmother, Spiderwoman, the Twins escape the nest, and to this day their people live in peace, unafraid of monsters. Browne's prose is markedly still and even, a foil for the epic quests of the Hero Twins. The dramas seem reserved for White-thorne's fantastical, highly detailed watercolors. Hyperbolic in palette and perspective, the art arrestingly calls on a contemporary sensibility to stress the mythic content of the narrative. Ages 7-up. (Sept.)
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