Spirit Walker

Nancy Wood, Author, Frank Howell, Illustrator, Frank Howell, Photographer Doubleday Books for Young Readers $22.5 (80p) ISBN 978-0-385-30927-1
A companion piece to Many Winters, this uneven collection contains Wood's impressions of the ``deep spirituality'' of Taos Pueblo Indians whom she has known for more than 30 years. ``We are all Spirit Brothers,'' declares Wood, ``The Woman. The Man. / The Buffalo. The Tree. The River. / Each is part of another. / Each is part of the same.'' Howell's paintings--expressive Native American Indian faces with stylized wisps of white hair, set against fields of intense color; or quietly powerful landscapes--are individually striking but repetitious. An introduction outlines Taos culture and religious convictions, but the poems themselves concentrate on Wood's personal beliefs about her connection to ``something largely undefinable, call it God or the Great Spirit, Buddha or Allah. Krishna or Mozart.'' The poet's voice, while authoritative, is an odd combination of sage wisdom, Eastern aphorisms and New Age mysticism. Her messages about the ``harmony'' of the universe, the ``interconnectedness'' of people to the earth, and the need to protect the environment will attract many readers. Ages 12-up . (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
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