Kirkus Star


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 11
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Crossing the boundary between the folktale and the informational book, Goble not only tells and illustrates a story based upon a Blackfoot legend, but also provides detailed black-and-white drawings of the construction and pitching of a tipi. There is a diagram for a model tipi that can be photocopied and constructed out of paper, and there are photographs of actual tipis. The legend of the origin of the Storm Maker’s or Snow Tipi is framed by factual information and other bits of traditional lore. In the story itself, Sacred Otter and his son Morning Plume are overtaken by a storm while on a buffalo hunt. They take refuge from the blizzard behind the body and under the fresh skin of the buffalo they have killed. During their ordeal, Sacred Otter has a vision in which he encounters a magnificent tipi, within which is Storm Maker, Bringer of Blizzards, who promises to save Sacred Otter and his son. He tells them that when warm weather comes, they are to paint a similar tipi that will keep them safe from storms. He also tells Sacred Otter to hang bunches of horsehair by the door of his tipi to bring him good luck. The illustrations, while always unmistakably Goble’s, exemplify a variety of styles, ranging from stylized designs to almost impressionistic landscapes, to the familiar, flat, detailed images for which Goble is best known. Beautifully designed and imaginatively executed (with two openings that must be turned sideways), there are numerous fascinating details in the illustrations that extend and explain the story as well as provide information about the culture of the Indians of the Great Plains. (Picture book/folklore. 7-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-84137-X
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Richard Jackson/Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2001


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