Meet Chulyen the Raven, learn with granddaughter and discover Dena’ina!
How Raven Got His Crooked Nose: An Alaska Dena’ina Fable, as retold by Barbara J. Atwater and Ethan J. Atwater; illustrated by Mindy Dwyer
“In this retelling, which is gently laced with Dena’ina vocabulary, readers learn not only a cautionary tale, but also facts about the culture. . . Both entertaining and instructive, a refreshing breath of air from the far north.” –Kirkus Reviews
“One of the best books I have read all year! A wonderful trickster tale, set as a morality tale for children in the most clever, dramatic way. Just perfect illustrations in tandem with the authors’ tribute to their family’s storytelling traditions, and to a language with less than 100 who still speak it today. I was so intrigued, I’ve done further research on Chulyen the Raven, as I’ve mostly read trickster tales from elsewhere. Said the raven to me: Read some more!” – Carl’s Pick, Children’s Book Council
“In a visually striking yet rather muddied retelling of a native Alaskan myth, a grandmother recites a story to her granddaughter about Chulyen, or Raven, to demonstrate how “it is always best to take our time and do things right.” Working in graphic novel–style panels, Dwyer introduces Chulyen, who is boldly depicted with patterned black and purple plumage and lime-green eyes. After losing his beak in an unidentified accident, the bird fastens on a replacement beak made from white bark and goes to find his old one (“When he really thought about it, Chulyen did know where his nose was”). An elderly woman has found it on the shore and is using it as a household tool. In an especially surreal interlude, Raven changes himself into humanesque form, standing on long, black legs and wearing a feathery blue-black beard. Stealing into the woman’s home, he finds his beak, but “because of his rush, he jammed it back on without care,” causing it to be forever crooked. Dwyer’s use of strong contrasting colors brings a fresh, modern sensibility to this tale, while patterns and motifs are suggestive of traditional Dena’ina art.” Ages 5–8. (Apr.)-Publisher’s Weekly
Celebrate curiosity and wild imagination.
It’s Only the Wind written and illustrated by Mindy Dwyer
Remember the playfulness of childhood and trust the wisdom that comes with time – Mama knows the answers. It’s Only the Wind is a sweet, rollicking bedtime book that celebrates imagination. Mama calms the fears of two sleepy siblings, but her explanations send them on a wild ride out of bed and into the sky. It’s Only the Wind hops playfully back and forth between fact and fantasy, with soft, shadowy quiet and bright, colorful action. The kids fly, sweep, sing and sail always with their eyes closed, as mom has asked them to do so they can be ready for sleep. Facts about the wind are included on the last page.
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2018 Mindy Dwyer