Pacific Island Legends
Pacific Island Legends: Tales from Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, and Australia is a spell-binding collection of 43 traditional or historical stories from the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, and Australia. While written at a 4th-grade reading level these stories, adapted from a variety of sources, will capture and hold the attention of readers of all ages. Creation myths, myths of origin, adventures of gods and heroes, kings and queens, naughty children, husbands and wives—all illustrate the relationship of the people to their islands, the ocean, and each other. Connie J. Adams’ intricate culturally accurate woodcut illustrations make the stories a visual delight.
Designed as a companion to the popular history textbooks Pacific Neighbors and Pacific Nations and Territories, Pacific Island Legends also includes geographical, historical, and cultural background information about the regions and islands. A companion teacher’s guide provides resources for interdisciplinary study, including summaries, discussion questions, activities, thematic index and bibliography.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Bo Flood, Ph.D., has published several books for children, including a collection of Micronesian myths, From the Mouth of the Monster Eel. She is the 1997 winner of the CNMI Governor's Award in the Literary Arts and an instructor at Northern Marianas College.
Beret E. Strong holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Brown University and an M.F.A. in poetry from Warren Wilson College. While teaching on Saipan and serving on the CNMI Council for the Humanities, she co-produced and directed, with Cinta Matagolai Kaipat, the documentary film Lieweila, about the Refalawasch (Carolinians) of the Northern Mariana Islands.
William Flood received his M.D. from the University of Minnesota. He writes a weekly health column and has a private pediatric practice in Saipan.
Connie J. Adams is a well-known Saipan artist who has won numerous regional and national awards, including the Governor's Award in the Visual Arts.
“This is an excellent companion piece to B. Dunford and R. Ridgell’s Pacific Neighbors: The Islands of Micronesia Melanesia and Polynesia.”
“Pacific Island Legends offers parents and children a chance to bond through shared reading and the discussions that will undoubtedly follow.”
“This fascinating collection of folk tales includes 44 such legends... beautifully illustrated... “
—Laughing Bear Newsletter
“Giant clams that give birth to the world, cannibalistic ghosts, and tender love stories swirl through these legends of the Pacific Islands. The authors provide a historical and geographical context for this collection of tales from an oral tradition, "talk stories" that they describe as a dance between teller and listener. Divided into sections reflecting the four distinct areas of the Pacific, the book records the stories in an engaging and often exciting style. The islanders' belief in magic and spirits, along with their violence, compassion, and humor, dominate the stories. Many stories are intended to teach children, while others try to explain the world and history of the people, such as how the Samoans finally abandoned cannibalism. Pronunciation and vocabulary guides appear in the margins, aiding readers (sometimes unnecessarily, with entries on sassy, haste, boasting, and gushed among them), who will find thrills, laughter, grief, disaster, and triumphs here, adding up to a charming portrait of an often neglected culture.”
“Clean, crisp woodcut illustration add just the right amount of cultural flavor.”
—The Honolulu Advertiser
“Pacific Islands Legends is a highly recommended addition to any personal, academic or public library multicultural myth, legend and folklore reference collection.”
—MidWest Book Review
“These tales bring alive the magic of storytelling and conjure the images of clattering coconuts, swaying palms and starry skies.”