The Mud Pony: A Traditional Skidi Pawnee Tale

The Mud Pony: A Traditional Skidi Pawnee Tale

by Caron Lee Cohen, Shonto W. Begay

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A Native American tale about a young boy and his magical mud pony that comes to life. "Splendidly illustrated . . . (a) moving, multileveled hero tale. . . ".--Kirkus Reviews. Full color throughout.  See more details below


A Native American tale about a young boy and his magical mud pony that comes to life. "Splendidly illustrated . . . (a) moving, multileveled hero tale. . . ".--Kirkus Reviews. Full color throughout.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From the Skidi branch of the Pawnee Indians of the Plains comes this tale of a boy who achieves greatness in his tribe with the guidance of a pony he made out of mud. Too poor to own a pony like the other boys, he fashions a small mud pony and goes to see it every day. It is during one of these visits that the rest of the tribe moves west in search of buffalo, and the boy is left behind. Not only does the mud pony become a living, breathing horse, but she takes him to his tribe; later, she helps him become the chief of his tribe by giving him great power in battles. ``I am here, your Mother Earth. You are not alone!'' are the words he hears when the mud pony has once again gone back to the earth. Cohen retells this story with grace; Begay, a Native American artist, provides evocative paintings that derive strength and impact from the suggestion of action rather than fully detailed scenes. Ages 5-8. (September)
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5 According to the acknowledgments, `` The Mud Pony is one of a number of ancient boy-hero stories told among the Skidi band of the Pawnee Indians.'' A poor Indian boy longs for a pony of his own. He sculpts a pony out of mud and takes care of it as if it were real. When his tribe accidently leaves him behind, the mud pony becomes real and leads the boy to their new camp. The boy and his magical pony help the tribe defeat their enemies, and after many years the boy becomes a powerful chief. The pony appears to the grown boy in a dream and tells him that it's time for the animal to return to Mother Earth. The chief lets him go. A quietly told tale, solidly built upon Pawnee traditions; for example, the symbolic use of Mother Earth is characteristic of this tribe who lived in dome-shaped earth lodges. The watercolor illustrations are executed in earth tones with spatter backgrounds. The primitive style, with minimal details and flat perspective, almost resembles Indian artwork found on the walls of their housing. An authentic Indian folktale. Karen K. Radtke, Milwaukee Public Library

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.01(w) x 9.93(h) x 0.13(d)
AD610L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

The earth home where Shonto Begay was born sat five miles southeast of the community of Shonto, Arizona. He was the fifth child of sixteen born to a Navajo medicine man. Shonto attended federal boarding schools all over the Navajo Indian Reservation in his elementary school years. He attended high school in Kayenta, Arizona; he attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and received his Associate of Fine Arts degree, and later earned a degree from the California College of Arts & Crafts. He currently resides in Flagstaff, Arizona where he maintains a studio, The Foot of Sacred Mountain Studio. He also maintains ties with his traditional birthplace in Shonto, Arizona, where he has a Hogan/studio.

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