Cover Image: Magic Words

Magic Words

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Member Reviews

This book was cute, I think the representation of other cultures in our westernized world is very important, and I thought the art style really helped. While I enjoyed it, I thought it was really short, and would've liked it to be longer, maybe a little more informative.
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Why this book was written is my first Question?
Second, What kind of Inuit culture was reflected with it, as it was written in their marketing plan for Parents and Children to read it together to understand the Inuit culture?

Either there should be some content as in the form of a story even if it has been yet a mythology or there shouldn't be any book at first place. Inuits are much more than just from these made-up stories. Waste of time.

Only thing that amazed me is Artict Mike Blanc. He had done a marvellous job. Amazing color combinations and what an art! 2-Star for his work only.
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Thank you NetGalley and Vanita Books for accepting my request to read and review Magic Words.

Author:  Edward Field
Published: 09/01/13
Genre:  Children's Fiction

This is a miss for me.  I have the E-book and following the title page, etc., the first page pops up and I backed away.  Really it was fish, large and scaly.  The author attempted to translate an old tribal poem.  Between the illustrations and the words, I didn't see a poem or a reason for the work.  I feel like there is a loss in translation.
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Despite being a book about words this book is all about the illustrations. The art in this book is striking, beyond gorgeous. Through this book one will understand the power of words. A great addition to any book collection.
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Magic words, according to the authors note from Edward Field on the back of the book, is a traditional Inuit poem. Originally published in the 1960s, this is a new edition created with illustrator Mike Blanc. 

This is a very beautiful book. The illustration style and care to details is quite impressive, and I love the bright colours. There are a variety of Arctic animals depicted, and it would be interesting to learn if the illustrations depict specific stories or not. 

The poem itself is fairly short, with a line or two per page. It’s translated in more of a free-form poetry, rather than a rhyming style. It was decent, but it would have been nice if there was a transliteration to compare. I know most of the Indigenous books our system orders often include the original text alongside the translation as well. It was a little odd to see it missing here. Content-wise, the poem was interesting. You don’t get a lot of detail about specific folklore or stories, but it mentions how many were transformation tales, and the belief in how language could influence the world around them. 

Which brings me to one of the major issues with the book, which I know would make it unlikely to be purchased by our system. While the contributors’ work is admirable, neither of them is a member of the culture depicted in this work. This is one of the criteria that is used in our system to select - or deselect (weed) - books from our systems’ library collections when it comes to the Indigenous collections, especially. They could have hired someone to be a cultural advisor, to comment on the translation and maybe add detail to any specific stories depicted, for instance, which would have worked. Or to include the original text, as I mentioned before. I’d imagine this may effect their sales in Canada, though I’m not sure if it will matter in the U.S. as much.

Overall, it’s quite pretty but a bit lacking in content. 

I received the opportunity to read this book through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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First and foremost, I would love to thank NetGalley, the author, and publishers for allowing me the opportunity to read this advanced copy. Such a great adventure!. Recommended
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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 sage, 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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This illustrated book for children, called Magic Words, is based on a poem from the ancient oral tradition of the Inuit. The poem is a lovely piece about the strong links between humans and animals, as well as the magical power of words. The visuals are rather interesting; the graphic lines create a very special atmosphere that reminded me of aboriginal paintings. It really does capture the essence of indigenous spiritual beliefs.

An interesting and poetic book about the Inuit people, a topic rarely found in children’s literature.
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I’d give this three stars for the story and five stars for the illustrations.

The story seemed almost like an introduction rather than a whole book, and while I appreciate that it’s based on a folk tale, I wish there were more to it. I had to check my book to make sure there weren’t pages missing, because it felt like we got a chapter instead of a whole book. What was there was fabulous, whimsical, and imaginative! I just needed more, and I feel like kids would have a lot of questions since there is no plot in what’s there.

The illustrations were amazingly vivid, beautiful, and imaginative! This book is a work of visual art for sure.

I’d be interested in seeing other books in this series if they’re ever written, maybe doing a compendium of Inuit folk tales or a blending of a few.

Thanks to Netgalley for this advanced readers copy!
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The more I look at the images to more enthralled I was by the words. The hope for me is that more inclusive we are with are in-class or in home story telling, the more inclusive are children will be in the real world. Learning about other cultures is a wonderful gift reading gives us and being able to share the world through books is a gift.
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I love the artwork in this! The longer you look the more you see <3 
I wanted it to be so much longer, I double-checked when it seemingly abruptly ended, thinking it must just be the first of a few parts. It was not. But I did enjoy the artwork in this one a lot.
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Wow! This book was short but a really neat Inuit Creation story with gorgeous illustrations. We learn about Inuit culture in Grade 2, and I would love to use this book with my students. I would recommend this to colleagues as well. I think students would like the illustrations and the idea of wordsmith creating with magic. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Edward Field for the download! I chose to review this book and these opinions are my own.
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I  absolutely LOVED the pictures in this book! They were so colorful and I just wanted to keep looking at them. The story was very unique. I enjoyed this book.
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Breathtaking colours and imagery. I am fascinated by Inuit Cosmology. I wish there was more of this.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC. All opinions are my own.
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I really enjoyed the artwork and thought the text was lovely. Although I think the book could be improved by having some own voice input, maybe an intro or more context, something like that. I think it is a great book, especially for kids.
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Sparse, yet beautiful, this picture book tells the story of a time when words were magic. Just by stating something, it would come to be. The illustrations are lovely, and the one of the animals in the boat is frame-worthy. This would be a good choice to diversify your children's collection.
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The illustrations were my favourite part of this book. I could tell they were done with such care and love. The colours also really brought everything together as a reading experience. The poem was filled with wisdom and the understanding of nature that I wish we all still had as humans.
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Thank you so much Netgalley for the advanced copy!

The illustrations were just breathtaking. They are so beautiful to look at that I couldn't help going over the pages several time. On the other hand, the folk tale was good but ended very abruptly. I don't like incomplete endings or feeling like I'm missing out something. It irked me and kind of ruined the vibes. Nonetheless, it was worth the read.,
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Wow! The illustrations are fantastic! The text is simple enough for youngsters to understand and gives way to great discussions in a group setting. This book sparks the imagination for all sorts of art activities. Well done!
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The ending is quite abrupt and I would have preferred if this was an Innuit author's own voice or story since I do not trust people from outside of a culture to do them justice. Loved the illustrations though!
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