Families and homes are important, more so in some cultures than in others. Nancy Bo Flood and Peterson Yazzie bring that concept to life in The Hogan That Great-Grandfather Built.
The Hogan That Great-Grandfather Built focuses strongly on the way that people’s lives can be interwoven with not only one another’s, but also the place where they live. A book that has a multigenerational model, the story centers around a single Navajo family and all that happens in and around the family hogan that one of their older relatives built. It is here that children and adults play, eat, sleep, and work. Truthful and charming, it’s a story that gives children glimpses into lives that are not their own and ways that may be unfamiliar, but also many ideas that they can still relate to, such as loving family members and enjoying meals together.
While some children’s books focus on fantasy and silly storytelling, others use family traditional and nonfiction to tell important stories about life and living. Nancy Bo Flood uses a simple, straightforward style to tell readers what happens around the family home, how everyone works separately and together, the way that children play, and many other things. The family home is set in a western area, where Peterson Yazzie provides a rich backdrop of deep blues in the sky to bright red-oranges in the sand with a few scruffs of grass popping up here and there. It has a flavorful taste to it, bringing the heat of the sun and dry air of the far west straight into a child’s bedroom.
The Hogan That Great-Grandfather Built is intended for release February 2010 in hardcover. Children ages 4-8 will be fascinated by the things going on in the book, especially if it is far from the way that they live, such as in a city or suburb. Expect them to ask questions and in some cases, you may find yourself joining them on doing a little research on the Navajo people. Look for this book in the nonfiction picture book section of the bookstore and enjoy reading this cozy family tale.