The Return of the Buffaloes

Overview

Sacred to the Plains Indians, buffaloes provide almost all the people need to live and flourish on the Great Plains. When the buffalo cannot be found, scouts are sent to look for them...

By telling about a time of hardship, Paul Goble dramatizes the central importance of the buffalo to a vibrantly spiritual and artistic culture. He pictures the vastness of the empty plains, the excitement of discovering the Buffalo Woman, and the thundering ...

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Overview

Sacred to the Plains Indians, buffaloes provide almost all the people need to live and flourish on the Great Plains. When the buffalo cannot be found, scouts are sent to look for them...

By telling about a time of hardship, Paul Goble dramatizes the central importance of the buffalo to a vibrantly spiritual and artistic culture. He pictures the vastness of the empty plains, the excitement of discovering the Buffalo Woman, and the thundering return of the herd with superb artistry, bringing us a world that must not be forgotten.

Based on a Lakota myth in which a mysterious woman returns the buffalo and the other animals to the Indian people.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Goble's (The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses) vivid retelling of a Lakota legend dances against the backdrop of highly stylized artwork, an homage to the relationship between man and buffalo and to beauty and design in nature. The illustrations have a striking, organic symmetry: clouds ripple in layers across the sky; the sharp triangle of a tipi echoes the angle of a nearby mountain; a herd of buffalo seems to tessellate in the darkness. Each column of text stands above different, geometrically patterned designs of parfleches; templates are included in the introduction, which explains, among other matters, that parfleches are rawhide containers for buffalo meat. The story honors the buffalo's gift of itself to humankind, describing a time when a magically summoned herd, "surging like a torrent down from the hills," saves a desperate tribe from starvation. Goble concludes with mention of the present-day buffalo cavern (known as Buffalo Gap) which exists, still surrounded by myth, in South Dakota. This book has much to say and does so with eloquence. All ages. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The buffalo were essential to the survival of the Plains Indians, and when they were not available the people faced great privation. During one such famine, two young men were sent to find the herd. They meet a mysterious woman who tells them the buffalo will come; they do and the people are saved. Goble's bright, stylized, illustrations show the intricate detail on the Plains Indian clothing, masks and tipis. Added attractions include instructions for making a model parfleche using geometric designs found on each spread in the book; a page describing the many uses for all of the parts of a slain buffalo; and an extensive author's note.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4One desperate day, after weeks of hopelessly awaiting the return of the buffalo, two young men are sent out by the village leaders to find the herd. Instead, they encounter a mysterious woman who takes them into a cave and assures them that she will send her Buffalo People to rescue the tribe. That night, a thunderous pounding descends on the camp, announcing the arrival of the Buffalo Nation; once again, food becomes plentiful and the parfleches are filled. This Lakota myth is introduced by a thorough note describing the origins and implications of the Buffalo Woman and her association with the Wind Cave, as well as instructions for making a parfleche model. The strong symbiotic relationship between Native Americans and the natural world is apparent in both the myth and the accompanying information. Goble's signature style is evident in his use of vivid colors, stylized images, and traditional motifs. The large India-ink and watercolor illustrations effectively contrast the natural world with Indian decoration. However, the parfleche patterns in the margins of each spread are not always graphically well integrated and can be visually jarring. A small quibble, however, in a book that is entertaining, informative, and inspirational.Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
Carolyn Phelan
Goble, whose picture books include "Buffalo Woman" (1984), retells another tale about the mysterious woman whose people are the buffalo. In this Lakota myth, spring arrives, but the buffalo do not return. The hunters come back empty-handed from each search, until two young brothers go out and find Buffalo Woman, who promises to send her people to the plains again. The buffalo herds soon thunder around the tepees of the hungry people, who give thanks to the mysterious woman. Goble's artwork shows his delight in color, pattern, silhouette, and Native American motifs. Besides the large paintings on the double-page spreads, he includes small geometric designs copied from traditional parfleches (rawhide pouches) of the Lakota, the Arapaho, and the Cheyenne. Two introductory pages concern parfleches (which appear in the story), including a page to photocopy, paint, cut, and fold into a model parfleche, a project that children and teachers may find worthwhile.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792227144
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 4/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.09 (w) x 11.05 (h) x 0.42 (d)

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