Monday, November 26, 2007

Alice Yazzie's Year by Ramona Maher

This unique picture book will appeal to many children who are ages 6-10. It offers gentle but persistent descriptions of daily life for Alice Ben Yazzie, in the months leading up to her twelfth birthday. Alice lives in Navajo country; the author intersperses her daily thoughts and activities with commentary on the condition of the land in Black Mountain country, the juxtaposition of old ways such as herding sheep, and the new ways, like learning computer drafting. Through this approach, she makes contemporary Navajo life more real and vivid for readers.

Aided by the soft colors and textures of Shanto Begay's drawings, readers will get an intimate look into Alice outdoors waiting for the yellow schoolbus, talking to a captive buffalo at the rodeo, and sleeping under her grandmother's picturesque woven rug. Begay dedicates his illustrations "to all the girls of the Navajo Nation who emobdy the spirit of Alice Yazzie. Grow into your holiness, into your lives. Sow and harvest compassion and strength."
Begay was born and raised in the Navajo Nation community of Shanto, Arizona. His artwork is famous and collected worldwide.

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