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Songs From The Loom [Paperback]

Roessel Monty
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-"Weaving is more than just a craft to the Navajos. It is an expression of the culture." Thus, Roessel shares his heritage with readers by describing how his mother taught his daughter how to work a loom. From the shearing of the sheep to the weaving itself, traditions, stories, and lively, full-color photographs bring the activities to life. There are three main aspects to the book: the story of Jaclyn and her grandmother; traditional stories; and factual information about Navajo life today. The first two are extremely well integrated. Unfortunately, the third section, while good in and of itself, interrupts the story line and makes it choppy. While some of the photographs are not captioned, and a few do not mesh with the text on the same page, they nonetheless enhance the information. A map showing the area discussed and a diagram of a loom are included. A brief, but clear, glossary is appended. This book will tie in nicely with the fictional favorite, The Goat in the Rug (Four Winds, 1984) by Charles L. Blood and Martin Link, and contrasts well with titles on European style weaving, such as The Weaver's Gift (Warne, 1981; o.p.) by Kathryn Lasky. On its own, Songs from the Loom will be a useful addition to collections on Native Americans in the modern world.
Darcy Schild, Schwegler Elementary School, Lawrence, KS
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 3^-6. As he photographs his mother teaching his 10-year-old daughter, Jaclyn, how to weave the Navajo way, Roessel does some fine weaving of his own. Roessel, more cultural emissary than passive observer, weaves bountiful insights regarding Navajo culture into his photo-essay, ranging from ancient stories about weaving to the current state of Navajo unemployment. Nali Ruth, Jaclyn's grandmother, lives on a reservation in Arizona and begins her teaching with a prayer "to the Sun and the Holy People so they will know you are learning the old ways." Shearing, carding, spinning, dyeing, and weaving--Nali Ruth takes Jaclyn step-by-step through the rug-making process, all the while sharing Navajo stories and perspectives. Both the process of weaving and the culture surrounding it are fascinating; the varied photographs communicate the culture's richness with equal aplomb. This is the eighth title in the We Are Still Here series. Julie Yates Walton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Jaclyn Roessel sat anxiously on the edge of her chair. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Author Brings Honor to his Subjects June 26 2002
Format:Paperback
"Songs from the Loom: A Navajo Girl Learns to Weave" is the BEST, most sensitive and comprehensive children's book on the subject. Photographer and writer, Monty Roessel, took a personal approach to creating this book when he chose his daughter and his mother as subjects. He documented his ten year old daughter, Jaclyn, as her grandmother taught her to weave. The fifth grader learned about the practical aspects of weaving; like shearing sheep, carding and spinning wool, natural dyes, and weaving techniques. Nali Ruth (Grandmother) also taught Jaclyn about important Navajo stories related to weaving and the significance of each tool.
This book has an informative, well written text and wonderful graphics. It has many photographs and informative diagrams. Small samples of different rug patterns appear in the margins every few pages, leading to a full page map of the regions associated with the patterns. The wooden Navajo loom is shown in a labeled drawing. The traditional stories of how weaving originated for the Navajo people are on separate pages from the rest of the text, bordered by a rug-type design. I would recommend this book for both adults and children over 8 as a delightful way to learn about this subject. He honors his mother, his daughter, and Navajo weaving with this book.
If you are buying this book for a child, "Navajo Rugs and Blankets: A Coloring Book" by Chuck and Andrea Mobley, with Sam Mike as illustrator, is a must have supplement. Children interested in "Songs From the Loom" will find themselves inspired to experience Navajo rugs and this coloring book is a great way to extend the story!
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Author Brings Honor to his Subjects June 26 2002
By Tracy Robert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Songs from the Loom: A Navajo Girl Learns to Weave" is the BEST, most sensitive and comprehensive children's book on the subject. Photographer and writer, Monty Roessel, took a personal approach to creating this book when he chose his daughter and his mother as subjects. He documented his ten year old daughter, Jaclyn, as her grandmother taught her to weave. The fifth grader learned about the practical aspects of weaving; like shearing sheep, carding and spinning wool, natural dyes, and weaving techniques. Nali Ruth (Grandmother) also taught Jaclyn about important Navajo stories related to weaving and the significance of each tool.
This book has an informative, well written text and wonderful graphics. It has many photographs and informative diagrams. Small samples of different rug patterns appear in the margins every few pages, leading to a full page map of the regions associated with the patterns. The wooden Navajo loom is shown in a labeled drawing. The traditional stories of how weaving originated for the Navajo people are on separate pages from the rest of the text, bordered by a rug-type design. I would recommend this book for both adults and children over 8 as a delightful way to learn about this subject. He honors his mother, his daughter, and Navajo weaving with this book.
If you are buying this book for a child, "Navajo Rugs and Blankets: A Coloring Book" by Chuck and Andrea Mobley, with Sam Mike as illustrator, is a must have supplement. Children interested in "Songs From the Loom" will find themselves inspired to experience Navajo rugs and this coloring book is a great way to extend the story!
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource March 18 2014
By Rainy Endischee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book to learn about the Navajo origin of how Navajo woman learned to weave. It tells the old story similar to the stories of Spider Woman I have heard all my life, and how she taught the Navajos to weave. More importantly, it is the story of a young girl and her grandmother. She learns how to conduct herself, how to take care of her tools, and how to make a rug from sheep, dye, and turn it into a rug.
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice photography Jan. 24 2014
By Nan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nice photography and portrait of the author's family engaged in one of the traditional Navajo cultural practices, weaving. There seem to be fewer intact traditions being practiced.
4.0 out of 5 stars Young adults will love it Sept. 19 2013
By patricia Rydstrom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good book to be included into your library of Navajo folklore. It is good to read to young people to help them understand Navajo culture.
5.0 out of 5 stars Native American Unit Feb. 3 2013
By artistjan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book fit well into my Native American Unit. We study the Navajo tribe. We have a loom in our classroom.
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