Book CoverBook Cover

Corn is Maize:  The Gift of the Indians
By Aliki Brandenberg
1976 Fitzhenry & Whiteside limited
33 pages
Isbn: 0-690-00975-5

Ages: 8 and up

Rating: Harmful - overly scientific and stereotypical



Kernels of corn are planted, rained on and warmed by the sun.  Sprouting, a stalk grows, leaves and nodes form and by mid summer the plants is taller than a farmer. Scientists found 5000 year old kernels in a cave in South America, the remnants of the ancient corn of the “Cave Dwellers”.  The scientists believe that the original corn was pollinated by toesinte, gradually creating the corn we have today. By the time Christopher Columbus landed in the New World the “Indians” were expert farmers using the it fresh, as meal, and for seed.

Book Review

 The book is not written in a story form, it is more of a scientific explanation of how corn came to be. Overlooking any of the native beliefs or oral histories of how corn came to be. Perpetuating the myth of the First Thanksgiving between the Pilgrims and Indians.   On page 26, is one of the reasons for the harmful rating of this book.

 "On the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims and the Indians together gave thanks for the corn harvest, as the Indians had done long before."