Buffalo Dreams

Buffalo Dreams

5.0 2
by Kim Doner
     
 

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The Bearpaw children learn of a white buffalo calf that is born on a ranch far from their home. The family leaves on a spontaneous pilgrimage in their camper to take gifts to the newborn. The children had grown up with the story of the White Buffalo Calf Woman, the powerful spirit who saved a starving tribe in ancient times, and had been reborn in the form of a

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Overview

The Bearpaw children learn of a white buffalo calf that is born on a ranch far from their home. The family leaves on a spontaneous pilgrimage in their camper to take gifts to the newborn. The children had grown up with the story of the White Buffalo Calf Woman, the powerful spirit who saved a starving tribe in ancient times, and had been reborn in the form of a white buffalo.   But the white calf is protected by its large mother. What will happen to the children in the moonlight inside the corral?
 
The book includes the original legend of the White Buffalo Calf Woman as well as step-by-step instructions with illustrations on how to make a dreamcatcher.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In Native American legend, White Buffalo Calf Woman saved a tribe from starvation and, according to an opening author's note, when a rare white buffalo was born in 1994, many people traveled long distances to honor the sacred calf. In Doner's (The Buffalo in the Mall) pilgrimage story, Sarah Bearpaw and her family decide to pay their respects to the newborn white buffalo calf they have seen on TV. The climax shows Sarah saving her brother from the protective mother buffalo when he attempts to "touch magic" (pet the calf). Though the scene seems a bit abrupt, it serves its purpose: Sarah ultimately gets to touch the calf, while the painting of the sacred white creature emerging from the shadows emanates its legendary significance. The overwritten prose may drive the point home a bit too hard ("Maybe magic doesn't make you do something special. Maybe you do something special, and it makes magic"), yet readers will come away with the understanding that such spiritual exchanges require a willingness on both sides. The realistic artwork is hampered by a cartoonish treatment of the overeager brother, but such engaging touches as vaguely bison-shaped white clouds and a tight close-up of the limpid-eyed calf that practically puts the fluffy creature in readers' laps compensate. The book ends with a brief retelling of the legend (an excellent in-depth example is Paul Goble's Lakota retelling, The Legend of the White Buffalo Woman) and instructions for making a dreamcatcher. Ages 7-up. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Beautifully detailed, realistic paintings enhance this touching story of twelveyearold Sarah Bearpaw and her encounter with a living Native American legend, a rare buffalo calf. As explained in an Author's Note, this appealing picture book is based on the true story of visitors coming to marvel at a white buffalo calf on the Heider ranch, as well as the spiritually true legend of White Buffalo Calf Women, and its significance for many Native American people. As Sarah travels with her family to visit the calf, shows courage by rescuing her younger brother from the calf's mother, and gives her precious dreamcatcher to the buffalo, she learns that, "Maybe magic doesn't make you do something special. Maybe you do something special and it makes magic." The author also explains that while the White Buffalo Calf legend is Sioux, Sarah and her fictitious family, as well as the designs, patterns and colors she used in the illustrations, represent a variety of Native American groups, giving the book an intentionally PanIndian feeling. A retelling of the Legend of White Buffalo Calf Women and directions for making a dreamcatcher are included at the end of the book. This title should appeal to a wider age range than the average picture book. 1999, West Winds Press, Ages 5 up, $9.95. Reviewer: Gisela Jernigan

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558684751
Publisher:
Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/28/1999
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
11.42(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

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