A long time ago, in the land we now call North America, there was an enchanted village where Enchanted People lived. The villagers were called the Enchanted People because they each had a special gift. The leader of the Enchanted People, Chief Moon Bear, could jump over cliffs and rivers, which made exploring easy for him. His wife, Night Flower, was blessed with swift, skilled hands, and she could bead moccasins, leggings, and sashes in the time it would take others to thread a single needle.

Many of the village boys could swim underwater for long periods of time, and this made them agile fishermen. Some of the girls and women could outrun the horses, and even in winter, when it was too cold for the men to swim for fish, the villagers never went hungry because these women could chase after wild game. The Enchanted People were powerful because all of them were blessed with an enchanted power – all except for one – and her name was Wawatay.


The Enchanted People is a humanitarian fairytale about a young girl named Wawatay who lives away from her village as an outcast because she is different. All the people in her village have an enchanted power except for her, and so, she is not accepted by them. While living in solitude, Wawatay finds an injured baby sparrow and begins to care for her despite ridicule and discouragement from her people. When Baby Bird grows up and asks Wawatay to teach her to fly, Wawatay embarks on a journey across the Earth to seek help from her animal friends and learn the secret to flying. Along the way, Wawatay discovers a secret about herself — she has an enchanted power after all. She must decide if she will use it to help save her animal friends and plead with her people to change their habits — which are destroying Mother Earth — or if she will continue to stay away in fear. Readers may also discover a secret from this book: just like the first Enchanted People to walk the earth, each of us is born with unique gifts. Are you using your powers for good?


Jennifer Pool’s narrative is divided into brief chapters. The sentences in The Enchanted People are short, and the vocabulary is accessible. The rustic illustrations by David Dodson add colorful information to the storyline. In the quest for knowledge, Wawatay learns about animals and different regions of the world. Each animal teaches her something new, and she learns that everyone can contribute to this world.

- Canadian Review of Materials

For any child who feels at home in the company of animals, The Enchanted People will become a treasured story. Pool has woven a tale full of lessons about the unexpected twists and turns along the journey to recognizing one’s own strengths. Perseverance, and support from just the right friends, pays off along this winding road. The Enchanted People will inspire children to keep searching, to value their strengths and be true to themselves, and ultimately, to care for each other and for the earth.

- Catherine Wagner, University of Wyoming

Carries a message about the importance of doing the right thing.

- Sentinel Review