On page 27 of Gerald McDermott and YOU, written by Jon Stott, published in 2004, Stott says:
"Although the Dance of Life depicted on the final page of the story is McDermott's own creation, it is true in spirit to the agrarian culture he depicts in the story."
Stott suggests students in middle/upper elementary grades who are studying the book consider researching traditional Pueblo ceremonies, but, he says (bold text is his):
It is extremely important, however, that students realize that these were and still are sacred ceremonies and that photographing or drawing dancers is permitted only with specific permission from the various Pueblos. Therefore, teachers should not encourage the drawing or photocopying or representations of these sacred ceremonies."
I find Stott's words somewhat hypocritical. How can he praise the book in the first place, knowing McDermott made up that dance, and go on to tell students not to draw, photocopy, or represent sacred ceremonies?
That he provides this caution tells us he knows very well that Pueblo people object to the appropriation and denigration of our stories. It seems to me Stott ought to be using what he knows to critique the book. Instead, he says students can create "written narratives about the Boy's experiences in the kivas..."
You may want to read what I've written about McDermott's presentation of kivas. In short, McDermott portrays them as places of trial. In fact, they are places of learning and gathering.
Given its made-up and erroneous information, this book is best shelved in the fantasy section. It certainly does not belong in the non-fiction section! And it certainly does not merit it's Library of Congress subject line "Pueblo Indians--folklore."
I recommend it be weeded. Can you, will you, weed a Caldecott book?