Mystic Horse

Overview

From the first brilliant rush of horses to the triumphant sight of beautiful bays, chestnuts, shiny blacks, whites, grays, and paints galloping across the pages, Paul Goble's very special book will delight all who love horses and all who love stories that tell of the spiritual connection between people and animals.

His magnificent, detailed paintings evoke an almost forgotten world as he recounts a stirring legend based on the oral tradition of the Pawnee. Focusing on a poor boy...

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Overview

From the first brilliant rush of horses to the triumphant sight of beautiful bays, chestnuts, shiny blacks, whites, grays, and paints galloping across the pages, Paul Goble's very special book will delight all who love horses and all who love stories that tell of the spiritual connection between people and animals.

His magnificent, detailed paintings evoke an almost forgotten world as he recounts a stirring legend based on the oral tradition of the Pawnee. Focusing on a poor boy and his grandmother, adventure begins when the boy discovers an old, limping horse. Though ridiculed by his tribe, the boy cares for the horse and brings it back to health. In turn, the animal helps his friend achieve greatness, only to be betrayed. The boy's remorse is sincere, but will he be forgiven?

Captivating readers, Caldecott medalist Paul Goble shows how a loving friendship changes the lives of a people.

After caring for an old abandoned horse, a poor young Pawnee boy is rewarded by the horse's mystic powers.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Caldecott Medal winner Paul Goble returns in this breathtaking Native American tale about a boy and an enchanted horse.

When a poor grandmother and her grandson stumble upon a weary horse, the boy sees the animal's potential and takes it in. Because of the horse's poor condition, the boy endures the taunts of others in the tribe; but during a ride down to the river together, the horse suddenly instructs the boy to ride "into the enemy's midst and strike their leader with [a] stick" four times. The boy follows this command successfully, but when he tries for a fifth strike, the horse is killed. Nevertheless, the tribesmen now dub the youngster "Boy Chief" for his formidable courage, and when he expresses his sorrow over his lost friend, a new "herd of spirited horses" for himself and his grandmother magically appear.

Stunningly reminiscent of traditional Native American artwork, Goble's book will have readers transported to another time. The author's storytelling is absorbing, while his pen-and-watercolor illustrations evoke the majesty of Pawnee culture (further described in his introduction). Serene and powerful. Matt Warner

Horn Book Magazine
“Beauty and authority distinguish Goble’s presentation of a Native American legend.”
Publishers Weekly
Admirers of Paul Goble's Native American tales will savor the Caldecott Medalist's Mystic Horse, based on a Pawnee legend about a humble boy rewarded for his kindness to an old, lame horse. As in other of the artist's works, detailed notes supply context for both the story and the designs incorporated into the illustrations. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this traditional Pawnee tale, a poor old woman and her grandson travel with the hunters. Although mocked by the others, the boy finds and cares for an old, sick horse. One day, to his surprise, the horse tells the boy to cover him with mud, then ride against the enemy. The rejuvenated horse carries him to victory along with the other warriors. But when the boy tries to ride the horse more than the four times he was instructed to, the horse dies. As the boy mourns his loss, the horse returns, bringing with him a herd, so that the boy and his grandmother "need never walk again." Goble's distinctive style, done in pen and ink, watercolor and gouache, uses white outlines and opaque hues to present a spirited visual tale filled with animated horses and war-painted fighters in scenes of fields of wild flowers and canopies of tree branches. The pages also include designs adapted from artifacts in museum collections. The end-papers vividly depict the mystic rising of spirit horses from the waters of a sacred lake described in an introductory note. References and added notes are also included. 2003, HarperCollins Publishers,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Powerful, evocative endpapers showing surging horses, winging their way across raging seas and starry skies, draw readers into the spirit world of the Pawnee. With this opening, Goble brings to life the legend of the magical steed that gifted the tribe with "a herd of spirited horses." As the story opens, a poor boy and his grandmother struggle to keep up on foot as the rest of the tribe moves from place to place on horseback. One day, the boy finds a starving, limping horse and nurses him back to health, ignoring the jeers of others who insist he is wasting his time. In return, the animal gives him speed and cunning to spur his people on in battle. The boy, however, ignores the steed's final instructions and is devastated when the beloved animal dies as a result of his heedlessness. Later, he is forgiven and the stallion returns from the spirit world to reward his former benefactor with a herd of wild horses. Employing the same technique as in The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses (Bradbury, 1982), Goble uses the white outlines that are part of his signature style and marries traditional and stylized flat patterning with occasional shading to suggest rounded forms. By combining gouache and watercolor, he alternates areas of opaque and transparent color, evoking a sense of both airiness and solidity perfectly suited to the mystical and earthbound worlds depicted in this tale of generosity, bravery, and forgiveness. Extensive historical notes attest to the author's comprehensive research.-Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Goble (Storm Maker's Tipi, 2001, etc.) returns with another engaging Native American legend complemented by his glorious illustrations-a mix of authentic and contemporary design. An old Pawnee woman and her grandson are very poor and walk behind the tribe, as they have no horse. One day they come across a seemingly worn-out horse. The boy cares for it as if it's the most precious one in the tribe. In return for his kindness, the horse gives the boy advice that enables him to achieve status as a brave warrior. He goes beyond where the animal has directed him, however, and the horse is killed in battle. Realizing his foolishness, the boy retreats to sit in sorrow and remorse; the Father above allows the horse to come back to life. A series of events brings an entire herd of horses to the boy, who asks his grandmother to take one and give the rest to those in need. Never again are they viewed as poor. In fact, the boy is revered as "Piraski Resaru, Boy Chief" and the horse is known as the mystic horse. Goble's storytelling is superb; his illustrations extraordinary and filled with fascinating detail. His characteristic, stylistically flat paintings accurately portray the Native American tribe he depicts and call to mind early Native American paintings. Using a palette of browns and golds, blues and greens, he creates a magnificent world of days long ago when the Pawnees valued their horses above all else. Author's notes citing resources used as background verify the authenticity for both the words and the illustrations and provide insights into the history of the Pawnee nation. Goble's fans will be delighted and new readers will be inspired to read more of his work. From an exceptionaltalent: a sure classic. (Picture book/folktale. 6-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060298135
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/13/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 645,092
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 580L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Goble grew up in England, where he developed a deep interest in the culture of the Plains Indians. In 1977, he came to live and study in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Greatly influenced by his adoptive father, Chief Edgar Red Cloud, and other Native American people, Paul Goble has created an outstanding body of work that celebrates Plains Indian culture. His distinguished books include the Caldecott Medal-winning The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, Buffalo Woman, Dream Wolf, Her Seven Brothers, Adopted by the Eagles, and Storm Maker's Tipi.

Paul Goble says, "Throughout my books I have tried to reflect the special Indian feeling of mystical relationship with nature." The New York Times describes Paul Goble's work as "a marriage of authentic design and contemporary artistry," declaring, "it succeeds beautifully." His artwork resides in a number of collections and institutions, including the Library of Congress and the South Dakota Art Museum.

Paul Goble lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with his wife, Janet. He was recently named an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by South Dakota State University inBrookings.

Paul Goble grew up in England, where he developed a deep interest in the culture of the Plains Indians. In 1977, he came to live and study in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Greatly influenced by his adoptive father, Chief Edgar Red Cloud, and other Native American people, Paul Goble has created an outstanding body of work that celebrates Plains Indian culture. His distinguished books include the Caldecott Medal-winning The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, Buffalo Woman, Dream Wolf, Her Seven Brothers, Adopted by the Eagles, and Storm Maker's Tipi.

Paul Goble says, "Throughout my books I have tried to reflect the special Indian feeling of mystical relationship with nature." The New York Times describes Paul Goble's work as "a marriage of authentic design and contemporary artistry," declaring, "it succeeds beautifully." His artwork resides in a number of collections and institutions, including the Library of Congress and the South Dakota Art Museum.

Paul Goble lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with his wife, Janet. He was recently named an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by South Dakota State University inBrookings.

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