cover image The Day the Earth Rose Up

The Day the Earth Rose Up

Alfreda Beartrack-Algeo. 7th Generation, $14.95 paper (40p) ISBN 978-1-93-905339-8

Beartrack-Algeo’s (a member of the Lower Brule Lakota Nation) long fascination with the Pleiades constellation led to this star-studded origin story, her solo debut. In Paha Sapa (South Dakota’s Black Hills), “strong and wise” Maske lives with her Lakota family, including six younger sisters. Though it’s late in the season, their mother wants to make wojapi, a chokecherry pudding, so the sisters—warned to stay together and not wander far—go searching for the cherries. Heading deep into the forest after eating the first cherries they find, the sisters encounter Mato Sica, “the giant bear that loved to eat people.” When Maske prays for help, the ground rises and sacred eagle Wanbli Tanka flies them to the Star Nation, where they become the Pleiades, twinkling in the night sky and forever safe. Alongside jewel-toned paintings that foreground the natural world, Beartrack-Algeo incorporates many traditional elements in this picture book about “how everyone and everything is interconnected. What is sacred above, is sacred below.” A glossary of Lakota words is printed up front, and back matter includes a map and author’s note. Ages 6–8. (Jan.)