The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush

4.5 2
by Tomie dePaola, Tomie de Paola
     
 

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In spring, the hills and meadows of Texas and Wyoming are ablaze with the reds, oranges, and yellows of the Indian Paintbrush. How this striking plant received its name is told in an old Indian legend.

Many years ago, when the People traveled the Plains, a young Indian boy had a Dream-Vision in which it was revealed that one day he would create a painting that

Overview

In spring, the hills and meadows of Texas and Wyoming are ablaze with the reds, oranges, and yellows of the Indian Paintbrush. How this striking plant received its name is told in an old Indian legend.

Many years ago, when the People traveled the Plains, a young Indian boy had a Dream-Vision in which it was revealed that one day he would create a painting that was as pure as the colors of the evening sky at sunset. The boy grew up to become the painter of the tribe, but although he found a pure white buckskin for a canvas and made paints from the brightest flowers and the reddest berries, he could not capture the sunset.

How the young Indian artist finally fulfills his Dream-Vision is lovingly told and illustrated by Tomie dePaola, in words and pictures that capture the spirit and beauty of this dramatic legend.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
According to PW , this tale of Little Gopher's artistic dreams is ``related with deceptive simplicity by dePaola; he enhances the plainness of the story with his primitive illustrations and . . . finds inspiration in the colors of the sunset.'' Ages 4-8. (June)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4 Little Gopher was smaller than the other young Indian boys of his Plains tribe, and although he tried hard, he could not do what the others did. The tribe's wise shaman assures him, however, that he has a different gift. As he grows up it is revealed to him in a vision that he will paint pictures of the glories of his tribe, that his own greatest work will someday be ``a picture that is as pure as the colors in the evening sky.'' As he grows older he does indeed paint the great deeds, the hunts, the visions of his tribe. But making paints to match the colors of the evening sky eludes him. One night, a voice directs him to a special vantage point where he finds brushes filled with wonderful colors. He creates at last his masterwork, and the next day the brushes have rooted and become the brilliant flowers we now call Indian Paintbrush. This book will inevitably be compared with The Legend of the Bluebonnet (Putnam, 1983), but the pivotal elements are very different. The humanity expressed in this story illustrates the value of perseverance, and of endurance of effort that will bring its reward. DePaola's softly rounded shapes and his hero's diminutive stature, downcast eyes, and sober mien breathe attitudes of acceptance, of quiet waiting, of diligent persistence. The picture of the boy gazing mutely, patiently, into the western sky is ineffably moving. And dePaola must have had a wonderful time painting the gloriously uplifting skies depicted here. Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, McKinney, Tex.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698113602
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/28/2000
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
169,897
Product dimensions:
8.06(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.19(d)
Lexile:
AD840L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California.

It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books.

He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal for his "continued distinguished contribution," and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration.

Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.

Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.

- He has been published for over 30 years.
- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.
- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.
- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.

Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition forhis books in the children's book world, including:

- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association
- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association
- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution
- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal
- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Connecticut and New Hampshire
Date of Birth:
September 15, 1935
Place of Birth:
Meriden, CT
Website:
http://www.tomie.com/main.html

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The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my most beloved stories from my childhood and I'm going to buy it not just for me but for my son as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Traditional: I like the book, The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush. I am interested in art, so this book defiantly appealed to me. This book is good to show children that not everyone is the same and that is okay. It shows children that everyone has their own special talent, you just have to find it and accept it. Tomie dePaola has been published for 40 years and has written and/or illustrated over 200 books, including 26 Fairmount Avenue, Strega Nona, and Meet the Barkers .Tomie dePaola and his work have been recognized with the Caldecott Honor Award, the Newbery Honor Award and the New Hampshire Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure. He lives in New London, New Hampshire with his new Airedale dog, Brontë. The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, is about a young Indian boy. He does not seem to fit in quite right with the other Indian boys. He is smaller and unable to keep up with them. However, he did have his own special talent¿he made toy warriors from different things and loved to decorate smooth stones with juices from berries. One day he gets a Dream-Vision. He is told about all the pictures he will paint and that the people will see them and remember them forever. The next day he made paintbrushes, paints, and collected skins of animals. He painted many pictures. Everyday he painted pictures. One evening he goes to the hillside and paints the sunset with colors from the ground. The little boy then becomes known as He-Who-Brought-the-Sunset-to-the-Earth. ¿Do not struggle, Little Gopher. Your path will not be the same as the others¿. This is the part of the book where the Wise Shaman is talking to the young boy about his talent. ¿But he never gave up trying, and every morning when he awoke he took out his brushes and his pots of paints and created the stories of the People with the tools he had¿. This is the part of the story where the Indian boy continues following the words from his Dream-Vision. DePaola, Tomie. The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush. New York: Scholastic, 1991. Grade Level: 1st