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Gr 1-4- After quoting a traditional Salish story about the origins of buffalo on Earth, Bruchac describes how a Nez Perce boy and his father found an orphaned calf in 1873 in Montana and carried it to a friend who had a small herd. The story shifts, somewhat abruptly, to this man, a historical figure named Walking Coyote, who helped to save the species from extinction. With his wife and son, he led nine calves over the mountains to the Salish people. As the herd grew over the years, he finally found a landowner who agreed to keep it safe, making it possible for its descendants to thrive today. The gentle narrative eloquently conveys the beauty and importance of this animal; though there is a bit of adventure during the journey, the heart of the tale is the respect and commitment shown toward the buffalo by Walking Coyote and others. The orphaned calf became the herd's leader, and her courageous actions represent the spirit of the species. Richly atmospheric oil paintings capture the magnificence of the creatures, the kindness of the people, and the beauty of the surrounding landscapes. An afterword updates the fate of the buffalo, providing details of how this herd led to the successful growth in the later 1900s.-Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR
Posted October 13, 2009
Buffalo Song is a story that takes place in the 1870s. It tells of a how the buffalo, a spiritual animal for Native Americans, was hunted by white hunters into extinction. One particular herd of buffalo was killed and only the tongues of the buffalo were taken, leaving the remaining of the buffalo to decompose in the field. But one small calf of this herd hid in the bushes and was spared. The calf didn't leave her dead mother's side until a small boy and his father found her weak and starving. They took the calf to a buffalo orphanage and from there; the buffalo and their human protectors go on a dangerous journey to find a permanent home. In my opinions this book is a great read that would interest older elementary aged students (5-8th grade). It gives some general insight of the history of Native American people and I would truly recommend this book to others.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.