NIGHT DANCER by Marcia Vaughn


Mythical Piper of the Native American Southwest
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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Beneath a huge full moon, the hunchbacked flute player Kokopelli steps down from a petroglyph and dances across an atmospherically lit desert, drawing Coyote, Rattler, and other creatures to dance along behind. His compelling music swirls out to catch human children from the pueblo too: “Kokopelli spins with a step and a hop. / Whirling and twirling to the mesa top. / Cacti sway. Shadows play. / Dancers dance the night away.” Vaughan (We’re Going on a Ghost Hunt, not reviewed, etc.) envisions Kokopelli, who figures in the mythology of the Hopi, Zuni, and Pueblo people, as the “pied piper of the Rio Grande.” Desimini’s magical, moonlit scene has him capering across a suitably timeless, mysterious setting, then lets him and his music drift away on the morning wind with the promise that “when the moon shines bright, I’ll dance again.” A haunting introduction to this eldritch musician for younger children, and a good prelude for older ones to Malotki’s Kokopelli: The Making of an Icon (2000) (afterword) (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-439-35248-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2002


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