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12 October, 2007

Book Review: When the Shadbush Blooms by Carla Messinger, with Susan Katz, illustrated by David Kanietakeron Fadden

Read and reviewed for Armchair Interviews

Every culture has its own ways of celebrating the seasons. When the Shadbush Blooms shows young readers how the Lenape Indians (also known as the Delaware Indians) live according to the seasons.

The story is uniquely told from two different viewpoints. It is told by Traditional Sister and Contemporary Sister, each from her own time. These viewpoints show us how the traditions have changed, yet stay very similar. David Kanietakeron Fadden‘s paintings grasp life in traditional times and current times extraordinarily. His paintings draw the reader in, and make them feel as if they were there as well.

The young reader that I shared this book with had a great time comparing the similarities between the different times. She seemed to enjoy learning about the traditions of the Lenape and following the adventures of the girls telling the story through their year.

I found this an engaging look into the lifestyles of one of the native tribes of the United States. I enjoyed the way the book was presented, and found the additional information on the Lenape in the back of the book extremely informative. This is a wonderful example of multicultural writing that shows how people live close to the land and themselves during the changing seasons.

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