November 10, 2015

Picture Book Round-Up: Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson

Because I'm getting my school media specialist license I'm reading more picture books than normal.  
Although middle school is where my heart is - I still love picture books! Besides any good teacher knows the power of a good picture book at any age!

I decided that once in awhile I will do a 
Picture Book Round-Up 
of some great picture books I've read lately.

I've got one today:

Author: Robbie Robertson
Illustrator: David Shannon

Born of Mohawk and Cayuga descent, musical icon Robbie Robertson learned the story of Hiawatha and his spiritual guide, the Peacemaker, as part of the Iroquois oral tradition. Now he shares the same gift of storytelling with a new generation.

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.

Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator David Shannon brings the journey of Hiawatha and the Peacemaker to life with arresting oil paintings. Together, Robertson and Shannon have crafted a new children’s classic that will both educate and inspire readers of all ages.

Includes a CD featuring a new, original song written and performed by Robbie Robertson.

This is an absolutely beautiful book.  The illustrations are amazing and detailed and large and just wonderful!  I took a few pictures of the inside so you could see them, but trust me they don't do it justice at all.

You get a bit of an idea from these two pictures, but in person they are so much better!

The story is also so well done.  Robbie Robertson chose to tell the story of Hiawatha because of the story he was told when he was young.  It comes from his life and his culture.  To me that just added to the story.  I had heard of Hiawatha before, but I did not know this story.  It was a beautiful story of peace and not taking revenge.  The idea that together we can do more, and that peace can be achieved.  It also showed how war and greed can hurt us.  Over and over the Peacemaker had Hiawatha say that they needed to come together and through that they would survive and grow.  What an amazing message! 

I'm glad I got the chance to read this book and share it with you! I plan on sharing it with the history teachers in my school that would teach about this time and place so that they can share it with their students.

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