Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sequoyah and His Talking Leaves by Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin -- OPTIONAL

Coleman, Wim and Pat Perrin Sequoyah and His Talking Leaves: A Play about the Cherokee Syllabary, illustrated by Siri Weber Feeney. Red Chair Press, 2015. $8.95. Content: G.

This is a drama/readers' theater explanation of how Sequoyah developed a syllabary (similar to an alphabet, but with entire syllables instead of letters) for the Cherokee people. I love the concept of turning history into a play, and this retelling has some fascinating facts I hadn't known (or, at least, hadn't remembered). The topic is definitely worth studying as well. Still, the writing itself is quite dry and, honestly, I can see a lot of students becoming bored and restless while reading this 38-page-long play aloud in class. Also, some pronunciation guides and a more extended glossary would be helpful, especially for the sections written in Cherokee. As a teacher, I would have no idea how to help my students who had to read these sections aloud, and having the passages left untranslated is frustrating.

EL (4-6), MS -- OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Caryn

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