Bowwow Powwow by Brenda J. Child | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –Windy Girl tells about finding her dog, Itchy Boy, and the various activities they do with her uncle.

redstarCHILD, Brenda J. Bowwow Powwow. tr. from Ojibwe by Gordon Jourdain. illus. by Jonathan Thunder. 32p. Minnesota Historical Society. May 2018. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781681340777.

PreS-Gr 2 –Windy Girl tells about finding her dog, Itchy Boy, and the various activities they do with her uncle. She enjoys the stories that Uncle shares as they ice fish or travel to a powwow. One such story is about tribal members going door to door singing, “We are like dogs,” before a powwow. Windy Girl falls alseep and dreams of a dog powwow, with canine elders, veterans, various dancers, and drummers. When she wakes, “Windy Girl understood the powwow is always in motion, part old and part new, glittering and plain, but still wonderful, almost like a dream.” Ojibwe text in italics is shown below the English in italics. Most of the vibrantly colored, energetic illustrations are spreads. The peoples’ faces are simplistic, but expressive. The dogs’ powwow attire highlights the intricacy of the dancers outfits. The end pages are the northern lights. A brief author’s note explains how the customary song and dance were called a “Begging Dance” by anthropologists, when in fact it was an exchange of gifts. VERDICT A simple, but imaginative story celebrating Ojibwe powwow heritage. This is a good first purchase for large libraries, or an additional purchase for smaller ones.–Tamara Saarinen, Pierce County Library, WA

This review was published in the School Library Journal July 2018 issue.

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