Kay Hill,
Glooscap & His Magic: Legends of the Wabanaki Indians
(McClelland & Stewart, 1979)

Kay Hill collects 19 legends and retells them for children in Glooscap & His Magic: Legends of the Wabanaki Indians. There is an element of the familiar in the collection, as there are similarities between these and other tales. Some of these similarities are even pointed out in the introduction. There is also a glossary at the start that serves as a pronunciation guide.

Black-and-white illustrations, by Robert Frankenberg, accompany each legend, and each one captures a moment from the tale.

The legends are not entirely about Glooscap, although he does appear in all of them. In "Oochigeas and the Invisible Boy," he appears without taking an active role in the story. Some of the other characters also show up in several legends, a recurrence that helps tie the stories together.

The legends fall into several different categories. Some, such as "How Glooscap Found Summer" and "How the Rabbit Lost His Tail," explain how things came to be. "Ableegamooch, the Lazy Rabbit" and "The Boy Who Worried Tomorrow" are, at least in part, moral lessons. Others, such as "Mooin, the Bear's Child" and "Run, Rabbit, Run," are stories about individuals and the things they did.

The legends are all around nine pages in length, and all have happy endings for the heroes. As a whole they make a nice starting point into the Wabanaki legends, allowing readers young and old alike a chance to meet some of the characters in a fairly safe setting.

- Rambles
written by Paul de Bruijn
published 5 June 2004

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