WHERE THE BUFFALOES BEGIN by Olaf Baker

WHERE THE BUFFALOES BEGIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In a large, square (10fl"" x 10fl"") picture-book format, accompanied by cloudy, misty, moody gray-toned illustrations, is a story published in St. Nicholas Magazine in 1915--that happens to be, moreover, quite demanding to read. (The type-lines are long; the vocabulary is what we would now call adult; the sentence-structure is complex.) It takes off from a putative Indian legend, of buffaloes rising out of a ""strange lake to the south""; and centers on ten-year-old Little Wolf's journey to the lake and spontaneous summoning of the buffaloes--""because he could not help himself, because he loved them as the creatures of his dreams."" They stampede; he heads homeward; ""the great gallop"" crushes the attacking enemies of his people, the Assiniboins; and he, we're told in an after-word, is thereafter hailed as his people's savior. The writing does have a certain measured, mesmerizing intensity--and, as embodied, this is the Indian Mystique incarnate. But as a book it's mostly a token of respect--not quite right for any reader, too solemn and slow-moving to be successfully read aloud.

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 1981
ISBN: 0140505601
Publisher: Warne