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by Ann Turner & illustrated by Wendell Minor

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-051399-3
Publisher: HarperCollins

Minor’s well-rendered, gorgeous illustrations beg for a text that informs and emulates the lyric language of the Sioux. Short, uninterestingly constructed sentences portray Sitting Bull’s encounter with Long Hair (Custer), his eventual flight to Canada and finally his return to the government-designated reservation at Fort Yates. The author purports to speak from the mouth of Sitting Bull, reminding the reader that this is a fictionalized portrait, an attempt to convey what Sitting Bull might have been thinking about the events in his life, but she fails to do so convincingly. And while one can appreciate the beauty of the ledger-style illustrations integrated with the more dimensional renderings, there is no explanation of the significance of the butterfly on Sitting Bull’s hat in the illustration on the cover and the first interior spread. That illustration seems to have been based on a historic photo by N. W. Photo Co. (Chadron, Neb.) now in the collection of E.A. Brininstool (Los Angeles). The historical note is informative and quite interesting, but the note and the illustrations will not be enough to redeem this and make it a priority purchase. Useful only as an introduction to the history. (Picture book. 6-10)