cover image The Hunter’s Promise: An Abenaki Tale

The Hunter’s Promise: An Abenaki Tale

Joseph Bruchac, illus. by Bill Farnsworth. Wisdom Tales (NBN, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-937786-43-4

In a retelling of a story shared by several Northeast indigenous peoples, as Bruchac explains in an introductory note, a lonely Abenaki hunter gains a mysterious “winter wife” who cares for him during his hunting expeditions away from his village. As the hunter prepares to return to his village, the woman asks him to “remember” her (readers may wonder why he doesn’t attempt to bring her back with him). Remember her the man does, season after season, as well as the child she bears, until the village chief’s daughter enlists the help of a poohegan (spirit helper) to cloud his mind so he can marry her. Farnsworth’s handsome paintings depict a lush, light-infused wilderness, putting as much emphasis on the pristine setting as on the characters. The satisfying yet melancholy ending leaves a haunting impression. Ages 6–up. Author’s agent: Barbara Kouts, Barbara Kouts Agency. (Sept.)