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Age Range: 5 - 8
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Those interested in regional folklore and flowers will find this retelling by first-time author Lind to be of special interest; all readers will find it to be a satisfying story of the origin of the Texas bluebonnet. Introduced with a two-stanza poem Lind’s retelling recounts in rhyme the oft-told tale of a young girl who takes the initiative to sacrifice her prized possession, a doll with a bonnet made of bluejay feathers. Others in her tribe selfishly cling to their prized possessions, unwilling to make a sacrifice to end the drought afflicting her people. It is just the little girl who is willing, and only after she watches her doll burn and turn to ashes does she return to her tepee. In the night the rain comes and brings with it lush fields filled with blue and white blossoms: the legendary bluebonnet. A nice contrast to Tomie dePaola’s The Legend of the Bluebonnet (1983), which has sometimes been cited as being too frightening for the very young reader, Lind’s version does not divulge the girl’s family situation but has her acting alone to make her sacrifice. In this version, the doll is a precious companion rather than the last remaining keepsake from a family she has lost. Kiesler (Wings on the Wind, 2002, etc.) uses acrylics in full-bleed paintings to enrich the verses. Color is used to evoke the somber and then joyous mood of each story incident; the double-page spread of the glorious bluebonnets rising to the soft clouds and blue sky is particularly striking. An author’s note summarizes the origin of the tale and provides a brief chronology of the Comanche nation and their presence in the Southwest. A pleasant introduction to a popular legend. (Picture book/folktale. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8050-6573-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2003


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