SKY DANCERS (Lee & Low, 2004). Illustrated by Christy Hale.

SKY DANCERS

This is my first picture book for children. It is historical fiction set in the 1930s. John Cloud is a young Mohawk boy who misses his father when he is away working during the week. John Cloud goes to visit his father at his workplace, which just happens to be the construction site of the Empire State Building in New York City.

REVIEWS:

"…just terrific…a story all of Kahnawake can relate to."

--THE EASTERN DOOR, Kahnawake Mohawk Territory newspaper

"...a wonderful book...[that] honor[s] those that were integral to the rise of one of the greatest cities in the world."

--GOV. GEORGE E. PATAKI, (then) Governor of the State of New York

"Rich, sunlit gouache illustrations establish the 1930s setting for this well-told story of a boy's pride in his father, his people, and--for his newfound ability to hear Father Sky and Mother Earth--himself."

--THE HORN BOOK GUIDE

"First-time picture book author Connie Ann Kirk extensively researched the Mohawk Indians' role in building New York City's skyscrapers and bridges, telling a story rich in history and tradition."

--SOUTHWEST INDIAN COUNTY TRAVELER, newspaper

"Kirk's research into the Mohawk culture and the experience of Native steelworkers adds authenticity, making this a true-to-life portrait of family life and traditions."

--KIRKUS

"This will work nicely to extend children's understanding of Native American traditions, and Kirk's carefully phrased author's note provides clear-eyed background on how members of this particular group came to be disproportionately represented in such a spine-tingling line of work."

—BOOKLIST

"Kirk has captured the boy's longing for his father when he is gone and the closeness between them while also conveying the family's sense of tradition as they enter a new era...Text and illustration combine to give an authentic and moving glimpse of life for a twentieth-century Mohawk family."

--CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS & RECOGNITIONS

*Selected for CHOICES, 2005--titles recommended by the Cooperative Children's Book Center.

*Selected for the Master List of the WEST VIRGINIA CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARD, 2005-06.

*Selected by THE CHILDREN'S BOOK COMMITTEE AT BANK STREET COLLEGE for their BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR, (ages 5-9 category), 2006.

* Quoted and discussed in the children's literature textbook, THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD: AN INTRODUCTION TO CHILDREN'S LITERATURE, 7th edition, by Donna E. Norton (Merrill-Prentice Hall, 2007). The discussion is under the section on "Setting" in Chapter 5: "Picture Books," p. 180-81.

*A "Top Five Book" of the Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children ("Capital resources" category): http://econkids.rutgers.edu

(c) Copyright 2002-2010 by Connie Ann Kirk. All rights reserved.

Page last updated: 9/10.

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