Leo Sawicki,
Anytime Stories
(Penumbra, 1986)

Anytime Stories is designed as a teaching manual for persons working with youth groups, although the stories are wonderfully entertaining. This book is perfect for the parent or grandparent to read aloud to children and do projects about the stories. The illustrations by Michael Robinson are sure to pull your child right into the story.

Each of the 10 stories contains a few questions about the story to help spark discussions and perhaps assist youngsters along that most valued path of analysis and interpretation of literature.

There is a project idea with each story. For example, the boy in the first story lives in a tipi. The project is to draw a story on a piece of paper and shape it into a tipi.

The 10 stories are "Silver Birch Has a Dream," "Nukon's Jokes," "How Bluebell Came to Be," "Kena & the Buffalo Dance," "Tummunk & Magasses," "How the Rain Fell," "Little Running Cub Becomes Brave Bear," "The Ancient One," "Cheeno Learns It is Important to Be Himself" and "Summer Sky Meets Story Teller."

These are Sawicki's own stories created from Native American culture and myths. These stories are saturated with Native American lore and are excellent sources of learning for children. The writing is lively and the characters are vivid. Every story is excellent and has a vital moral.

If you have children in your life, Anytime Stories is a wonderful choice. It guides you through being a literature teacher disguised as a parent.

This book was partially funded as an educational tool by the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

book review by
Alicia Karen Elkins

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