Born of Mohawk and Cayuga descent, musical icon Robbie Robertson learned the story of Hiawatha and his spiritual guide, the Peacemaker, as part of the Iroquois oral tradition. Now he shares the same gift of storytelling with a new generation.
Hiawatha was a strong and articulate Mohawk who was chosen to translate the Peacemaker’s message of unity for the five warring Iroquois nations during the 14th century. This message not only succeeded in uniting the tribes but also forever changed how the Iroquois governed themselves—a blueprint for democracy that would later inspire the authors of the U.S. Constitution.
Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator David Shannon brings the journey of Hiawatha and the Peacemaker to life with arresting oil paintings. Together, the team of Robertson and Shannon has crafted a new children’s classic that will both educate and inspire readers of all ages.
Includes a CD featuring an original song written and performed by Robbie Robertson.
Robertson, best known for his work with musical group The Band, collaborates with Shannon on a sadly relevant story about choosing peace over violence, recounting the story of how Mohawk warrior Hiawatha joined forces with a spiritual leader known as the Peacemaker to unite five warring tribes. It's no easy task, as Hiawatha must overcome his own anger and desire for revenge Tadodaho, chief of the Onondaga tribe, destroyed his home and killed his family. A departure from the playfulness of books like No, David and How I Became a Pirate, Shannon's penetrating oil paintings expressively capture the initial tension and uncertainty with which these messengers of peace are met, and the tranquility that replaces it. As the unified nations finally approach the murderous Tadodaho, they find a man "Hunched over, withered, and twisted," snakes coursing through his hair yet not beyond the healing power of forgiveness. Extensive endnotes and a CD that includes a song written and performed by Robertson underscore the author's evident emotional connection to this story and passion for passing it on. Ages 4 8. Author's agent: Ryan Harbage, Fischer-Harbage Agency.