Magic Words is a modern translation (1965) of a very old Inuit creation story by nationally known poet Edward Field. As a poem it captures beautifully the intimate relationship this Arctic people have with their natural world.
Magic Words describes a world where humans and animals share bodies and languages, where the world of the imagination mixes easily with the physical. It began as a story that told how the Inuit people came to be and became a legend passed from generation to generation. In translation it grew from myth to poem. The text comes from expedition notes recorded by Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen in 1921. Edward Field got a copy from the Harvard Library and translated it into English.
I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I loved the illustrations. They are colorful and reminiscent of what I understand at least some Native American art looks like. The story itself was just a little weird. I don't know if some of that is just things getting lost in translation or what, but it didn't really do much for me.
My 4 year old liked the part of the book where there were animals, but didn't like the part where there were people (I'm not sure if she realizes that the animals could become people and vice versa). And she really liked the picture with several animals in a boat.
Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars because my 4 year old enjoyed it and I thought the illustrations were excellent. - Katie