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ChildrensPictureBook.info Review

Alice Yazzie's Year
By Ramona Maher
Illustrator Shonto Begay
Publisher Tricycle Press

Ramona Maher is a Native American poet. In Alice Yazzie's Year she has written a free verse poem for each month of Alice Yazzie's eleventh year of life. Each poem records Alice's impressions of the events and people that are part of her life. Maher's poems give us a sense of how a Navajo child thinks about their world much as Shonto Begay's impressionistic illustrations give a sense of the rhythm and patterns of Navajo life. First published in 1977, the story of Alice is an intermixing of traditional Navajo life and the modern American culture that finds its way onto the Navajo reservation. Alice lives in a hogan, but she celebrates Halloween as the famous Australian tennis player Evonne Goolagong.

Although the text seems somewhat dated, the book will help children, accustomed to a more homogenized way of American life, to learn that there are still many places and peoples in America with unique perspectives, ways of living, and understandings of how to best live life.


Alice Yazzie's Year

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