cover image Navajo: Visions and Voices Across the Mesa

Navajo: Visions and Voices Across the Mesa

Shonto Begay. Scholastic, $17.95 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-590-46153-5

With these heartfelt paintings, poems and memoirs, the noted Navajo artist fulfills his stated goal of taking the reader ``into the corners of my world, the Navajo world.'' Similar in conception to George Littlechild's This Land Is My Land, this book places more emphasis on the traditional and spiritual, its contemporary setting notwithstanding. The sacred intertwines with the everyday; topics here range from storytelling, a solar eclipse and a healing ritual to riding in a truck and attending a tribal fair. Begay also explores the ``constant struggle for balance'' between his two worlds, as in ``Storm Pattern,'' where he recalls his mother gently refusing to introduce images he saw in magazines into her rug weaving, images he now recognizes as corporate logos. Some of the paintings are dappled watercolors like those in Ma'ii and Cousin Horned Toad, others acrylics with thick, dynamic brushstrokes. Whatever the style, each reveals an indimate knowledge of a people in harmony with the land. Ages 9-up. (Mar.)