Seya's Song

Ron Hirschi, Author, Constance R. Bergum, Illustrator Sasquatch Books $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-912365-62-6
For its noble purpose--to help preserve a disappearing Native American tongue and its culture--this book deserves praise. The S'Klallam people of Washington State share their rivers and lives with the returning spring salmon. Poetic words fill their days and seasons ``like the wind, the songs of birds, and the swirl of the tide.'' But Hirschi's slight, impersonal story is burdened with too many details and a scope too comprehensive for younger readers. The sensitively conceived text buckles under the weight of more than 30 tongue-tripping S'Klallam words. And the glossary, with its instruction to pronounce the new vocabulary ``by thinking of the rain-soaked forests, tide-washed beaches . . . of the Pacific Northwest,'' is not easily approached even by adults. However, these shortcomings do not negate either Bergum's elegant watercolor illustrations or Hirschi's characteristically flowing language. Because of the high quality of text and art, the book may speak eloquently to readers with a special affinity for the language of the S'Klallam or other Native American tribes. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992
Release date: 09/01/1992
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-912365-91-6
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