For a family literacy event completing March Reading Month I included this story.
The title, by the way, The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky, is her Anishinaabe name. I've also seen her Anglicized name as Susan.
A beautiful 1993 picture book of the story by illustrator, Charles Larry, was reviewed by both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly as a riddle/myth. It's definitely a myth, but the identification of Winter and Spring doesn't have to wait until the end. (Even H.R. Schoolcraft identifies it in the title as an allegory of the two.) In a Goodreads review by Kristin the story is faulted for it's lack of action. Universally the illustrations are praised even by Kristin, but as Publishers Weekly notes, there's certainly "vivid language."
Those of us experiencing this time of seasonal transition can certainly appreciate the way Winter tries to stay, but we trust Spring will eventually take over.
Too often this area's Native contribution is overlooked when considering Native Americans. As a result I was delighted to find the Charles Larry book included in Karri Smith's Mini-Unit on Native Americans aimed at First Graders.
As the Farmer’s Almanac says: it’s easy to understand the draw of the Ojibwe’s more poetic explanation. After all, even today, we still talk about 'Old Man Winter.'
I would add that the information on Jane Johnston Schoolcraft is also appropriate as we come to the end of Women's History Month.
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain." The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated. I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century. My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them. I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.
At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience. Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week. This is a return to my normal monthly posting of a research project here. Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my monthly postings as often as I can manage it.
There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection. I recommended it earlier and want to continue to do so. Have fun discovering even more stories!