The day the earth rose up

Alfreda Beartrack-Alego

Book - 2022

"When seven Lakota sisters venture deep into the forest to gather chokecherries, they are surprised and chased by a giant bear. As they huddle together on a rock ledge and pray for help, the earth rises up, taking them out of reach of the bear. A great eagle rescues the Seven Sisters by taking them to the Star Nation, where they become the Pleiades star formation we see in the night sky"--

Saved in:

Children's Room Show me where

1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Beartrac Checked In
Children's stories
Fantasy fiction
Picture books
Summertown, Tennessee : 7th Generation [2022]
Main Author
Alfreda Beartrack-Alego (author)
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations, color map ; 22 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Beartrack-Algeo's (a member of the Lower Brule Lakota Nation) long fascination with the Pleiades constellation led to this star-studded origin story, her solo debut. In Paha Sapa (South Dakota's Black Hills), "strong and wise" Maske lives with her Lakota family, including six younger sisters. Though it's late in the season, their mother wants to make wojapi, a chokecherry pudding, so the sisters--warned to stay together and not wander far--go searching for the cherries. Heading deep into the forest after eating the first cherries they find, the sisters encounter Mato Sica, "the giant bear that loved to eat people." When Maske prays for help, the ground rises and sacred eagle Wanbli Tanka flies them to the Star Nation, where they become the Pleiades, twinkling in the night sky and forever safe. Alongside jewel-toned paintings that foreground the natural world, Beartrack-Algeo incorporates many traditional elements in this picture book about "how everyone and everything is interconnected. What is sacred above, is sacred below." A glossary of Lakota words is printed up front, and back matter includes a map and author's note. Ages 6--8. (Jan.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3--Beartrack-Algeo, a Lakota artist and storyteller, relates the Lakota origin story of the Wincicala Sakowin (the Pleiades constellation) and the Mato Tipila (Bear Lodge, located in the Black Hills of Wyoming). In a time long ago, Maske and her six sisters leave their idyllic lakeside village in the Paha Sapa to pick chokecherries for making pudding. As they venture too far into the forest, distracted by chatting, Mato Sica (Giant Bear) attacks the girls, forcing them to flee for their lives. Desperate to get away, the sisters pray to the Wakan Tanka (Great Spirit) to rescue them. In answer to their plea, the earth rises up in a fiery cataclysm, creating a tall mount that lifts the sisters far out of reach of the pursuing bear. Then, Wanbli Tanka (Great Eagle) appears and ferries the sisters to Wicahpi (Star Nation) where they become the famed constellation, while the exhausted bear collapses and turns into Mato Paha (Bear Mountain). Though the text of the story is somewhat long, it's full of descriptive tidbits about the traditional Lakota way of life such as food, homes, and clothing, which is also true of the evocative illustrations executed in serene blues and earth-tones. This includes a glossary of Lakota words at the beginning of the book and a stylized map at the end. VERDICT Beartrack-Algeo's love and pride of her culture and the land shines throughout the story, which is a great addition to most myth and legends collections, especially given the scarcity of books featuring Indigenous peoples.--Yelena Voysey, formerly at Pickering Educational Lib., Boston Univ.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Author/illustrator Beartrack-Algeo (Lower Brule Lakota Nation) creates a mystical world where giant bears roam and girls fly on the back of a giant eagle to become stars. This retelling of the story of Pleiades, the Seven Sisters star formation, begins with seven Lakota sisters entering the forest to seek out the last of the season's chokeberries. The eldest sister, Maske, loves to entertain her younger sisters with stories of Mahpiya, the Sky World: "a magical place where stars scattered as far as the eye could see." Their mother has warned them not to go deep into the forest for berries, but the sisters eat all the berries from the nearby bushes. Maske leads her sisters farther and farther away, telling them stories all the while. They fill their baskets and turn for home, but an enormous bear appears and chases them. Terrified, they run for their lives. When they reach a ledge, they kneel, and Maske prays to the Great Spirit to save them. The ground trembles and rises high in the sky, and Wanbli Tanka, a huge sacred eagle, comes to save them. He flies the sisters to "the land of Wicahpi," or Star Nation, from which they watch over their people. Rich oil paintings accompany the lyrical telling. An opening glossary defines Lakota terms; these definitions are repeated in parentheses within the narrative--a mildly disruptive feature. Lovingly depicts the sacred relationship between Lakota people and their homeland. (author's notes, glossary) (Picture book. 6-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.