They Dance in the Sky: Native American Star Myths

Jean Guard Monroe, Author, Jean Guard, Author, Edgar Stewart, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16 (144p) ISBN 978-0-395-39970-5
With tea leaves and in the night sky, people have always tried to impose patterns on seemingly random groupings. This well-researched, thoughtful collection brings together star myths from such Native American tribes as the Navajo, Pawnee, Shasta and Micmac. Coyote is a bungler who causes trouble on every front: in one story he peeks into a jar and scatters the stars (and then is sent to wander, unwanted, across the earth); in another, he shoots arrows into the sky, which he and five Wolf Brothers ascendbut he descends alone. One of the stories about Pleiades tells of six wives who eat wild onions but are scorned by their husbands for the smell of their breath. They leave and climb a rope to the sky. Given the oral tradition of these tribes and the need to preserve the tales, this poetically rendered compilation is especially valuable. Text decorations show symbols, patterns, constellations and some of the many tricksters. Ages 10-14. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
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