Thursday, February 16, 2023

Today's read... The Cottonwood Sings by Alfreda Beartrack-Algeo



by Alfreda Beartrack-Algeo

7th Generation

Picture Book

ages 6-8


MAY 30th!!!

A delightful story of a lonely woman who never ages and the beaver who falls in love with her. Independently they seek out the Great Spirit, who obliges their requests to be forever close to one another.


The Cottonwood Sings is the enchanting story of the lovely Hunku (First Woman), who was immortal. The animals and plants loved her, but Hunku was lonely. Every day she would go to the riverbank and cry herself to sleep. Beaver, who lived in the river, fell in love with the beautiful Hunku and begged the Great Spirit to turn him into a man. The Great Spirit agreed, and Beaver became Takahe (First Man), but the Great Spirit told him that one day he would have to go back to being Beaver. Hunku and Takahe enjoyed their life together, and they had four beautiful daughters.






A gentle story comes to life with beautiful scenes of nature along the way.

Hunku (First Woman) is liked by all the creatures, especially thanks to her beautiful voice. She is immortal and the only human on Earth, and while life is wonderful, she's lonely. The beaver is in love with Hunku and wishes nothing more than to join her at her side. Luckily, the Great Spirit agrees to allow him to become human but reminds him that he'll have to return to the river someday. Hunku and Takahe are a wonderful pair, and their story goes from there.

This read carries a calm atmosphere, allowing young readers/listeners to sink into the scenes. It's well written, keeping the text and plot interesting so that even more impatient listeners won't drift away. At the same time, it lets the tale flow steadily and build right along with Hunku and Takahe's life. The illustrations invite to gazing and draw into Hunku and Takahe's tale. Even the end, while it might be a little sad for some, rounds things off nicely and leaves a sense of hope and completeness. 

And here she is...

Alfreda Beartrack-Algeo, a storyteller and poet, artist and illustrator, is a member of the Lower Brule Lakota Nation, Kul Wicasa Oyate, in Lower Brule, South Dakota, where she grew up. Her involvement in fine art began at an early age, with direct influence from her father, Alfred Ziegler, a noteworthy artist who has inspired her work in sculpture, painting, and drawing throughout her life. Alfreda currently lives in beautiful Palisade, Colorado, with her spouse, David Algeo.

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