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Circle of Wonder: A Native American Christmas Story

Circle of Wonder: A Native American Christmas Story

by N. Scott Momaday, Natachee Scott Momaday (Illustrator)

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A touching Christmas tale from Jemez Pueblo, illustrated in color by the author.


A touching Christmas tale from Jemez Pueblo, illustrated in color by the author.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Drawing on childhood memories of Christmas in a New Mexican village, Momaday produces a poetic story that skillfully blends Christian and Native American traditions. On Christmas Eve, Tolo, a lonely mute boy, is drawn by the spirit of his beloved grandfather to a bonfire in the mountains, where he shares a ``circle of wonder and good will'' with an elk, a wolf and an eagle. His heart fills with love for his family, for the Christ child and for all creation, and in this brief glimpse of the interconnectedness of all life his loneliness is banished forever. Features Momaday's singular, impressionistic artwork. All ages. (Sept.)
Bloomsbury Review
Both story and illustrations in this wonderful book sprang from Pulitzer Prize-winning Momaday's remembrances of his childhood on the Jemez Reservation, particularly during the Christmas season. He tells the story of a young mute named Tolo who shares the spirituality of the mountains and meadows with his grandfather. Upon his grandfather's death, Tolo plunges into loneliness. The frenzy of the Christmas season reawakens him, and Tolo follows the vision of his late grandfather back into the meadow where he is empowered by other creatures of the wild. Tolo transcends his own sorrow to understand the Christmas spirit.
Book Talk
A truly beautiful book, by a great author. . . . Every youngster (and oldster!) will be enthralled by the paintings of Momaday (Kiowa, by way of Jemez) and his tale of a Pueblo Christmas.

Product Details

University of New Mexico Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.72(w) x 10.36(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

N. Scott Momaday won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969 for his novel House Made of Dawn. Several of his books are available from UNM Press, including The Way to Rainy Mountain. He lives in Santa Fe.

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