Cover Image: Magic Words

Magic Words

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Member Reviews

Cute short story about the power of words in a different time. The illustrations are cute and the story is simple.

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This is quite a short book. The illustrations are lively and colourful.

It is about the connection between human beings and animals through nature and spoken words. I don't see any moral in the story like how words can affect things around us including humans and nature.

I would have loved it more if there had been a story around it.

Thank you Netgalley and Vanita books for ARC in exchange of an honest review.

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Lucid, vivid illustrations bring to life sparse poetry, like a magic spell. I only wish the book included voices of Inuit peoples themselves.

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This book has wonderfull arts.
It talks about how in ancient times humans and animals and nature were connected by the magic.
The story goes on with these images and short sentences that don't ruin reading experiency.
But sadly, it's really short.
It's good for really young kids, easy to read.
But I'd loved to see more.

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This is a beautifully illustrated book which highlights the oral traditions of the Inuit and can help children understand the worldview and importance of connection to nature and the words we speak. This is a great book to spark conversations with little children all the way through education for middle and high school students.

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Thank you Net Galley for the chance to read this beautiful recollection. Absolutely loved this book! The artwork was vivid and full and I could feel the magic of the words through the images. Highly recommend!

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This is a beautiful story about how people used to become animals and animals could be people. There was only one language. The illustrations are fantastic. I recommend this book!

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The artwork in Magic Words is stunning. I especially love the image at the beginning at end. I'm so happy this beautiful book exists to share Inuit culture with children and families. I will be adding this to my son's bookshelf.

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Beautiful pictures and a sweet magical story, my child and I both enjoyed this very much. It's also a great way to introduce other cultures into the bedtime reading.

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While I love the story behind this, I feel like the age range may be a little off in order for children to fully grasp a lot of the different concepts in the book.

However, with that being said, I loved loved LOVED the illustrations!

There’s a lot of wisdom, even in just the short lines that are written on these pages.

I have previously read and know a little about the Inuit people, but this was a great reminder and a fun read.

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This is a simplistic picture book about the power of words as per Inuit folklore. While very simple and short, the pictures are stunning. I think it's important for children to read as many of these kinds of stories as possible to see how differently people around the world may think.
Thanks to NetGalley for letting me look at this gorgeous book

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Miigweetch NetGalley and Vanita Books for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

This is an illustrated children’s book based on an Inuit creation story, translated into English in 1965. It tells of a time long ago when people could turn into animals and animals could turn into people. That’s it. There’s no sweeping journey or saga, simply “telling it how it was.” At the end of the book is a short list of the various animals depicted on the pages.

Other reviewers have noted that the story seems incomplete, that they were left wanting more, and I admit that I laughed heartily when I reached the end of the book because I had read their reviews prior, and I could understand at that moment their disappointment. However, I believe that this dissatisfaction stems more from a cultural difference in storytelling and than from any fault of the author or text; I would wager to guess that the aforementioned reviewers are non-Indigenous and coming from a more Westernized storytelling background. Particularly when it comes to “folk tales,” many Western audiences have been primed to expect a clean tidy ending, maybe with a clearly defined moral in the vein of Aesop’s Fables. However, the majority of Indigenous storytelling does not work this way. Every reader, every listener, is considered as an individual, making it impossible for an author to prescribe a takeaway - that is left up the person reading/listening to the story, because all of our life experiences work together to help us derive meaning from the tale, so no two people will experience it alike. Perhaps the author can take this into consideration and add something small to “tie things together” so as to let audiences know the story has ended.

The illustrations were phenomenal, bold and richly colored, with a distinct style that really “felt” like it was from the North (so I was quite surprised to learn that the artist lives in Ohio!) Overall, this book worked for me. I would recommend it for school libraries, as well as any classroom doing a “World Cultures” or “Multi-Cultural Storytelling” unit. Five out of five stars for me.

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Magic Words brings to life an ancient Inuit creation story—a world where humans and animals share bodies and languages, and the imagination realm blends with the physical world. This tale has grown from myth to poem passed down through generations.

Magic Words encourages children to think about how stories shape our understanding of the world and how different cultures explain the mysteries of life.

Discussion Questions:
How does the story explain the origins of the Inuit people?
What do you think the title "Magic Words" suggests about the power of language and storytelling?
How does the book portray the relationship between humans and animals?
Can you think of a creation story from another culture? How is it similar or different to the Inuit story?
Why do you think such stories are passed down through generations?
What can we learn from the Inuit's close relationship with nature?

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This lovely picture book is a retelling of an ancient Inuit creation story. This is a folktale of the days when animals could become people and people could become animals and everyone had the same language. Anything one could imagine would come to be. In 1921, the Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen, transcribed these tales as told by the Inuit people. Over four decades later, renowned poet Edward Field took Rasmussen’s translation and created his famous poem. Half a century later the Vanita Books publishing house paired this poem with Mike Blanks creative artwork. His ink line drawings were softened by charcoal tracings and then colored using software. The art is reminiscent of native artwork.

I recommend this short little picture book for children of all ages. Teachers will find it an ideal element in a poetry, folklore or native American social studies unit.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Vanita Books for the ARC. I appreciate this especially more due to my interest in the Inuit and other native tribes, including prehistoric groups of peoples throughout to modern times.

Magic Words by Edward Field.

And, yes! I knew the moment I saw the first page that this was the work of Mike Blanc again. Brilliant, beautiful illustrations once again. They truly make the book even more powerful than anything I read as a child.

The story of 'Magic Words' is a modern translation of an Inuit story from 1965!!! As a poem it shows the connection the Arctic peoples have with the natural world around them.

I've always enjoyed good prose, poetry being close to the heart.

A lot of people thinks that words are meaningless now and hold no power, but it's a new power, a power that we can join with other voices.

People forget.

Beautiful poem that left me thinking about the future.

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A translated version of an Inuit story about the importance of words, and the connection between humans and nature. The illustrations are very nice. The story however was a little short and other than explaining that words are important it doesn’t go into the repercussions when the words are used poorly.

I received an advanced copy or this book through netgalley, all opinions are my own.

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Thank-you Netgalley for this ARC-- this is my honest review. This is short book --aimed at children that holds a deeply profound and meaningful message ( which could be useful for some adults as well ) . Translated from the Inuit peoples oral stories -- this short poem -- explains to us that words have deep meaning and consequences once we say them - so we should be careful the words we use.-- but I think you need to read through it a few times --the more you read it the more it sinks into your brain what is being said and the depth of it. The illustrations are beautiful and mimicked after the traditional Inuit style .

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This review was made possible via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The illustrations are lovely and I will always appreciate the art of translation. However, the book does feel as if it is missing a sense of authenticity that would really make it sing. Perhaps it's a good primer to get students to start thinking more about other cultures, but I'd love to have seen more from it that directly reflects the Inuit perspective.

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The illustrations are great and it's a good way to teach children a unique concept and folklore that introduce a concept of magic to little minds.
However, I wish it could've been longer or a story was integrated into the concept.

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Wow, this was so beautifully written, the art too was incredible, it suited the book so well, it’s all so magical, I’ve never read any Inuit legend and this book was a nice introduction to it, I’m sure the kids are going to love it! I will definitely be recommending it!

Thank you netgalley and the publisher for this early copy

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