Books by Rafe Martin

The Eagle’s GiftTHE EAGLE’S GIFT
Illustrated by Tatsuro Kiuchi
G.P. Putnam
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In this Alaskan Eskimo tale joy comes to the world through the Eagle Mother, the animals, and the arts, which build community. It is also a story about the importance of storytelling and the illustrations—oil paintings all—are simply gorgeous.

“In this Eskimo myth that explains the origin of community celebration, a boy is transported by an Eagle-man to a mountaintop where frail Eagle Mother charges Marten to complete four tasks in order to learn the meaning of joy and teach it to his people . . . As Marten completes each task, Eagle Mother grows stronger until she is restored. Marten’s quest completed, Eagle Mother commands him to return to his own people. Through him, they learn the joy of friendship, singing, dancing, and storytelling . . . The tale is solemnized by the simple but elegant language of a polished storyteller . . . A respectful Author’s Note attributes the tale to the recognized authority Knud Rasmussen. Kiuchi’s neo-impressionist paintings range from the cold sweep of Arctic landscape to the earthy interior of a feast hall filled with the moving shadows of dancers, singers and drummers. This ancient myth has origins in a harsh world where life is endless toil; it will also resonate in modern culture where striving and lack of community make the gift of joy elusive. Storytellers and readers looking for works with inspirational currency will wish to purchase this eloquent retelling.”       —School Library Journal