Doot Bokelman, Knotties of Ganondagan

Knotties of GanondaganKnotties of Ganondagan, by Doot Bokelman

Modern-day Seneca children, residents of the Ganondagan State Historic Site, repel the forces of evil in this fantasy combining elements of Seneca culture with up-to-date ecological issues.

In the last few summer days before school begins, when the backpacks have already been filled and hung at the kitchen door, the youngsters meet the tiny knotties, creatures perhaps 6” high, who are seldom noticed because their bodies so closely resemble sticks.  It is difficult to win the knotties’ trust, because they have a well-founded fear of mistreatment by humans.  Eventually, the children learn of the knotties’ greatest peril and find a way to help.

Those who have visited Ganondagan will recognize the details of the setting, even to the golf course across the road.  However, this geographic familiarity is not a requirement.  The book includes a hand-drawn map for readers.

The story is illustrated with photographs of the knotties, little sculptures based on gnarled or knotty wood of various kinds with additional heads and hands of a wide variety of skin tones.  Each knottie has a character consonant with the traditional virtues of the wood from which it “grew.”

The author, Dr. Dorothy Bokelman, a sculptor and Associate Professor and Program Director, Art History at Nazareth College, has worked with the staff at Ganondagan for several years and credits them with helping her develop the adventures of the knotties.



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