In Black Elk Speaks, the great Native American leader says: "The hearts of little children are pure, and, therefore the Great Spirit may show them many things which older people miss."
Michael Caduto is an ecologist, author, and storyteller whose work fuses environmental study and activism with the folk vision of Native Americans and other cultures that are rooted in the Earth. Co-author Joseph Bruchac is a Native American (Abenaki) poet, novelist, and storyteller who has won national awards for his writing.
The 24 stories in this book present a fascinating glimpse into the ways in which Native Americans view the land, weather, and the birds and animals who often serve as their spiritual teachers. The aim of the stories, exercises, and activities is to enable children to acknowledge, honor, and empathize with animals. The material in Keepers of the Animals is organized into sections on creation; celebration; vision; feathers and fur, scales and skin; and survival.
Caduto and Bruchac remind children that although the natural inclination is to touch wild animals, it is not the right thing to do. They observe: "We learn the most about our wild animal friends when we leave them on their own to reveal themselves to us in their own ways."
This and other wisdom tips make this educational resource both edifying and spiritual.