McCain, Becky Ray. Grandmother’s Dream-catcher. Illustrated by Stacey Schuett. Albert Whitman, 1998. ISBN 0-8075-303-1. $15.95. Unpaginated. A 3-6 FI PB Reviewed by Rachel Welton Kimmy goes to stay with her grandmother in a cabin in the woods while her parents look for a new house in Chicago. Kimmy’s bad dreams wake her up at night, so her grandmother proposes a solution. She tells Kimmy a legend from their Chippewa heritage. A little girl who lived long ago also had bad dreams that woke her up at night, so her grandmother asked the Great Spirit for help and had a vision of a dreamcatcher circle. The dreamcatcher, which looks like a web, catches the bad dreams in its trap but allows the good dreams to float through to the sleeping person. The next day, Kimmy and Grandmother collect materials in nature to make a dreamcatcher for Kimmy. That night, Kimmy sleeps peacefully. Through the rest of the week, Kimmy and Grandmother make other special items to give to Kimmy’s parents when they return. The legend of the dreamcatcher is a Chippewa tradition. Given the popularity of dreamcatchers among young people, this book will be very appealing, especially since instructions for making a dreamcatcher are included at the end of the book. Not only does this story give insight into a Native American culture, it also teaches an important lesson on overcoming fear.
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