So I was in-between several edits and reads and thought I would search for some great children’s illustrated books for the library. This one caught my eye and so I requested it.
Sequoyah and his talking leaves: a play about the cherokee Syllabary
by Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin
Illustrated by Siri Weber Feeney
40Pgs (all formats)
This book is is a play in four acts with twelve character parts about Sequoyah (S-si-qua-ya) during the time he created the written language of the Cherokee.
I was looking for books to add to our library that tell about important Native American figures and their roles in history. Now to be fair, it has all the elements that I was looking for in a children’s book about this subject: lovely illustrations, history and a little bit of drama.
I can see reading this in a classroom, but it is a little too simplistic for our older high-school and upper middle schoolers to do, but a little long for our younger kids. Also there is no pronunciation guide for the Cherokee words and symbols in this story so in several parts despite it being written I have no idea how it should be said. I love plays that make our children think and I can say this is worth reading, but with 12 parts might be a little difficult to simply read to your children. It is a play that needs many voices (though some parts can be read as a single person).
Please note that while broad facts are known, some of the details were made up for dramatic effect. The last few pages of the book include more information about Sequoyah and where to find more about the Cherokee writing system as well as curriculum links. My favorite is the Cherokee nation’s website at www.Charokee.org.