Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Book Review: Flight of the Hummingbird

Flight of the Hummingbird: A Parable for the Environment

Flight of the Hummingbird by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is a beautifully simple environmental parable about a hummingbird. The parable of the hummingbird has its origins among natives of South America and the Haida of the north west of North America. The author notes that a common theme in Haida stories is that "the most diminutive creature -a mouse, a frog, even that curious being that becomes smaller the closer it approaches, that offers the critical gift or necessary solution." As is the case with the hummingbird, who does what she can to fight a forest fire.

The artwork of is amazing, similar style to other Haida artwork I have seen, with smooth lines, and beautifully shaped animals. The illustrations are sharp and clean in red and black. It is a nicely crafted book, with textured dust jacket and illustrated end papers.

The Dalai Lama provides the afterward of the book, encouraging "universal responsibility."
"Nowadays, significant events in one part of the world eventually affect the entire planet. Therefore, we have to treat each problem as a global concern from the moment it begins. We can no longer invoke the national, racial or ideological barriers that separate us without prompting destructive repercussions."
I was attracted to the book because of the environmental theme, and after reading about the author's artwork. The forward and afterwords were bonus' in their concise and poignant messages. A beautiful gift for anyone who is concerned about the environment, or enjoys beautiful artwork.

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Video for Flight of the Hummingbird (via You Tube)
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