cover image The Sioux

The Sioux

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve. Holiday House, $17.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1017-0

The focus of these handsomely illustrated titles in the First Americans series is on the history, beliefs and daily life of the Sioux and the Navajos during the 18th century in, respectively, the northern Plains and the open expanses of what is now New Mexico and Arizona. Necessarily simplifying the tribes' stories for her young audience, the author includes age-appropriate information about children's activities and responsibilities, as well as descriptions of each nation's housing, livelihood, social and cultural activities, and key rituals and ceremonies. Curiously, although Sneve spent her childhood on the Rosebud Sioux reservation, her accounts of this tribe's confrontations with white settlers and U.S. troops, and of the lives of the Sioux today, are much less substantive than those in The Navajos . In fact, her one-page description of ``The Sioux Today'' reveals nothing about their status except how some Sioux live on reservations and many ``live in cities and towns and still treasure their Sioux heritage.'' Still, with the significant contribution of Himler's striking oil paintings, these books provide colorful sketches of two intriguing tribes. Ages 8-11. (Oct.)