Little Gopher can't keep up with the other Indian boys; he prefers making and decorating small figures. When it's his turn to go out into the hills "to think about being a man," a vision tells him to become a painter, using colors "as pure as. . .the evening sky." But though he works hard, Little Gopher is dissatisfied with his dull, dark paintings. Patiently, he gazes at the sunset each evening till at last he is rewarded: brushes with sunset colors spring up for his use, returning next day--and each spring thereafter--as flowers. In a full-page note, dePaola traces this story to Texas Wildflowers, Stories and Legends, a collection of newspaper articles by Ruth D. Isely--which doesn't really give much clue to its Native American source. The retelling is pleasantly cadenced, even though it tells us more about the artist's need for serf-expression within any society than about Plains Indians. And dePaola's somber tones burst forth into satisfyingly brilliant sunsets. This should do well at picture-book tour.