Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Newbery Medalist returns to the subject matter of Indian Chiefs and Buffalo Hunt-though with a narrower scope-in this recounting of the 1833-1834 expedition of Prince Maximilian of Germany and the artist Karl Bodmer up the Missouri River. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Breathing life into history and making people seem real is Freedman's consummate skill. His account of German prince Maximilian's winter stay in 1833-34 with the Hidatsa and Mandan peoples of modern day North Dakota is taken from Maximilian's journal and Freedman's own meticulous research. The vividness of this account is enhanced through reproductions of the sketches and painting of the artist, Karl Bodmer, who accompanied the prince on his journey. A widely reviewed and lauded book. 1995 (orig.
Children's Literature - Charles Wyman
Freedman has taken excerpts from the journal of German Prince Maximilian who traveled in the U.S. and spent time with the Indians during the early 1800s, and used them as the basis for his own account. The focus of the book is the terrible winter of 1833-34 when the Prince wintered with the Hidatsa and Mandan in what we now know as North Dakota. Karl Bodmer, an artist, accompanied the Prince and it is his paintings that fill the pages of this beautiful book. An American Library Association Notable Book and a Best Book for Young Adults.
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-- In 1833-34, Maximilian, a German prince, and Karl Bodmer, a Swiss artist, travelled by river to what is today North Dakota. There they wintered with the Mandan and Hidatsa, fascinating and flourishing peoples who would be all but exterminated in the 1837 smallpox epidemic. Drawing expertly on his own knowledge and on Maximilian's own detailed account, Freedman tells the story of the Europeans' adventure against the background of the Indians' culture. In a simple but assured style, he conveys copious information effortlessly in the course of a compelling narrative. His ability to bring the Mandan and Hidatsa vividly to life is rendered especially poignant by his final description of their passing. The superb, limpid prose alone would make this book a winner, but the outstanding illustrations guarantee its irresistibility. Bodmer was a competent draughtsman but a master of figure studies. The Mandan were stylish dressers, and Bodmer delighted in depicting them in ceremonial regalia. Unforgettable, bright watercolor portraits punctuate genre scenes of domestic life and landscapes delineating the villages, river, fort, etc. It is hard to imagine a more appealing tribute to the best of two cultures: Native American integrity and European intrepidity. --Patricia Dooley, University of Washington, Seattle