Category: 3-5 Picture Book
Synopsis: Hiawatha was a strong and articulate Mohawk who was chosen to translate the Peacemaker’s message of unity for the five warring Iroquois nations during the 14th century. This message not only succeeded in uniting the tribes but also forever changed how the Iroquois governed themselves—a blueprint for democracy that would later inspire the authors of the U.S. Constitution. Musical icon Robbie Robertson learned the story of Hiawatha and his spiritual guide, the Peacemaker, as part of the Iroquois oral tradition.
Review: This is a great book that I think every child should read, especially ones that live in North America. I am glad that Robbie Robertson decided to write this book and published it because it’s an important part of all our heritage. I don’t believe there is enough taught in school about the Native culture and this would be a great book for any child’s library that would not only introduce the a very famous Native story but also teach them about peace and understanding and forgiveness.
It tells the story of Hiawatha who after loosing his family by murder by another group wants revenge. He is full of hate and anger and wants to kill the people who killed his family. The Peacemaker shows up and teaches him about peace and love of your fellow-man and has him go around with him and tell other groups this message. Peace is brought to the groups and changed the way they functioned from then on. As it says above, and I have researched this, it is true that this story did indeed inspire the author’s of the U.S. Constitution.
The pictures are beautifully done and full of rich colour. They are basically a story in themselves. Just as a picture book it’s wonderfully done and I loved looking at all the pictures.
This would be a book for the older of this age group. It does touch on topics like death and murder. It can be a little bit descriptive, so if you teach your kids about it while reading it this may help them understand better instead of being scared. This is the only reason I took off a half of a point for my score of the book.
Otherwise, as I said more stories like this need to come out so we can all share in and love the heritage that is part of our country.