Reviews for Bowwow Powwow

by Brenda J. Child

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Itchy Boy is Windy Girl's dog: a lively and loyal companion who barks at everything. The inseparable pair enjoy spending time with Uncle, who drives them in his truck, takes them ice-fishing, and, despite Itchy's incessant barking, manages to tell Windy stories of his youth. Windy's favorite is about how the Native American powwow tradition has both survived and changed with the passage of time. One summer evening, a powwow continues late into the night, and the festivities and Itchy's persistent presence creep into Windy Girl's dream, where dogs replace humans in the celebration. Readers observe costumed canines marching as war veterans, participating in a drum circle, and dancing in an array of styles: traditional, grass dance, and fancy. Created by a Red Lake Ojibwe author and illustrator, this story offers accessible cultural insight, and an appended note adds important details to those provided in Windy's dream and corrects misconceptions. The story is written in English and Ojibwe, and its crisply colored digital-media illustrations add a contemporary feel.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2010 Booklist

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Ojibwe protagonist Windy Girl and her new dog, Itchy Boy, enjoy many good times, but none are so good as when they go to a powwow.Windy Girl and her pup relish exploring the out-of-doors in all seasons, but the best times are when Uncle visits. His stories about the powwows of long ago fascinate her and make her feel proud. Of all the good times, Windy Girl and Itchy Boy love the end-of-summer powwow most. Often, powwows last well into the night. When the "heartbeat" rhythms of the powwow drum lull Windy Girl and Itchy Boy to sleep, she dreams of a special powwow, one in which all the participants are dogs. Here the illustrations, which look to be made from digital media, present scenes in which dogs of many breeds and attired in ceremonial regalia enact typical powwow activities such as dancing and drumming. The Grand Entry depicts dog veterans carrying flags: the Stars and Stripes, a canine POW-MIA flag, one with a bone insignia, and the Red Lake Ojibwe flag of Child and Thunder's nation. Dogs even staff "the powwow stands selling Indian fast food." Windy Girl awakes with a better understanding of the importance of the powwow in Native American cultures. Child's simple text will help young readers understand the significance of the Ojibwe powwow traditions, and Jourdain's (Lac La Croix First Nation) Ojibwe translation adds dimension.Simultaneously fanciful and reverent, this is a joyous look at a crucial tradition. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.