Elizabeth Cleaver, who has illustrated well-known Canadian Indian legends from the East (How Summer Came to Canada) and the West (The Loon's Necklace, The Mountain Goats of Temlaham), has now turned her highly acclaimed talents to a legend from northern Ontario. The hero of The Fire Stealer is Nanabozho, the creator-magician of the Ojibwa. With its transformations—Nanabozho could turn himself into many things—and its central image, fire (and fire's reflection in nature), the tale of how the Great Trickster made it possible for his people to warm themselves in winter, and to cook their food, offers wonderful opportunities for Elizabeth Cleaver to produce dazzling new variations on her medium, collage. Her brilliantly coloured compositions have never dramatized her chosen story more effectively, or been more glowingly reproduced.
William Toye retold the legends in three of Elizabeth Cleaver's earlier books—The Mountain Goats of Temlaham, How Summer Came to Canada, and The Loon's Necklace—and is also the author of two other books for young people, The St. Lawrence and Cartier Discovers the St. Lawrence, both of which won the Book-of-the-Year Medal of the Canadian Association of Children's Librarians.
Did you find this review helpful?