Doesn'T Fall Off His Horse

Doesn'T Fall Off His Horse

by Virginia A Stroud
     
 

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This magnificent true story offers a rare-and breathtaking-look into the life of a Kiowa boy at the end of the nineteenth century. The story is told by a very old man to his youngest great-granddaughter, Saygee, as he shows her one of his treasures: a leopard skin quiver, obtained at great price from the white traders. But there was one time when the quiver could… See more details below

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Overview

This magnificent true story offers a rare-and breathtaking-look into the life of a Kiowa boy at the end of the nineteenth century. The story is told by a very old man to his youngest great-granddaughter, Saygee, as he shows her one of his treasures: a leopard skin quiver, obtained at great price from the white traders. But there was one time when the quiver could not help him-the time he participated in a daring raid on an enemy tribe.

And so begins the narrative of a dangerous, yet thrilling adventure that will transport young readers back in time to the Oklahoma Territory of the 1890's. The sense of camp life among the tepees of the Kiowa village and the feel of a breathless escape on horseback over the prairie are evoked in Virginia A. Stroud's vivid prose and jewel-like art.

A multiple-award-winning Cherokee artist, Virginia A. Stroud now turns her impressive talents to the story of her adoptive Kiowa grandfather-who, like Saygee's grandpa, paid dearly and road bravely to earn his warrior name.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Saygee's great-grandfather, almost 100 years old, is ``like a living book,'' made up of so many stories. During his life great changes have come to his people, the Kiowas, and much time has passed since he earned his warrior name, Doesn't Fall Off His Horse. He tells Saygee how he won that name in his youth, unfolding the tale in stirring, carefully crafted prose. His story is of a brush with death; of bravery and foolishness; of Native American traditions. Stealing horses from Comanches to ``count coup'' (dishonor an enemy and demonstrate one's own courage), he and his comrades escape the Comanche camp-although he takes a bullet in the neck. In her first picture book, Stroud writes so vividly that the hot breath of the pursuing Comanches can almost be felt. Equally effective are boldly colored yet delicately patterned acrylics. Horses sport coats of violet, manes of aqua, and yet they do not seem unreal. The illustrations, like the text, stream with movement. Ages 6-9. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Saygee visits her great-grandfather, who shows her one of his treasures, a leopard-skin quiver, and tells her of an adventure when the lucky quiver didn't help him ``make a coup.'' (The concept of counting coup is explained). He and his young friends in his Kiowa band sneak out of camp and steal ponies from a nearby Comanche camp. The raid is successful, but the narrator is badly wounded from a rifle shot. Clinging to his pony and to the leads of two others, he makes it back home and unexpectedly recovers. Although the elders criticize the boys' bad judgment and foolishness, they praise their bravery and bestow an adult warrior name on the narrator-Doesn't Fall Off His Horse. The artist, a Cherokee, retells this incident from her adoptive Kiowa grandfather's childhood. Her paintings are slightly reminiscent of Paul Goble's linear, stylized, brightly colored art, but they are denser and more naturalistic, with less patterning, than his work. Stroud's palette is especially rich in blues. Although Native American picture books are proliferating, this one is notable for depicting children within their culture as both independent and accountable.-Patricia (Dooley) Lothrop Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Janice Del Negro
A young Kiowa girl sits in her grandfather's room and hears the story of how he got his name, Doesn't Fall Off His Horse. As a young man (apparently a teenager), grandfather and his friends raided a Comanche camp to steal ponies. When the boys were discovered by the Comanches and tried to flee with their booty, grandfather was shot in the neck. Seriously wounded, he held on to his horse: "Later I was told that my hands had to be pried from the ropes attached to the ponies that I'd pulled across the prairie." Stroud, a Cherokee by birth, uses brilliant acrylic landscapes and bright geometrics to depict the richly variegated, vanished lifestyle of her adoptive Kiowa ancestors, which she frames within the larger picture of a modern family's life. A brief glossary defines a few unfamiliar terms in this multilevel, semiautobiographical tale.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936495023
Publisher:
BookPartners, LLC
Publication date:
10/25/2010
Pages:
34
Sales rank:
1,332,385
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
5 Years

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