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Crazy Horse's Vision Hardcover – April 1, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As he did in Gift Horse, Sioux artist Nelson blends contemporary and traditional elements for the striking illustrations that accompany this story of the legendary Lakota warrior. Bruchac (A Boy Called Slow: The True Story of Sitting Bull) traces Crazy Horse's boyhood, zeroing in on a pivotal event in his life and highlighting an important Native American rite of passage. As a youth, Crazy Horse (then known as Curly) witnesses U.S. Army soldiers brutally and unjustly attack his people. Troubled, he embarks on a vision quest and sees a figure on horseback riding untouched through a storm of lightning, hail and bullets. His father interprets the vision, telling him that "the man on that horse is the one you will become" and that he is destined to defend his people. Bruchac's description of the vision quest is compelling, and his decision to limit his canvas to a few select events demonstrates his understanding of his audience; an afterword describes subsequent events in the warrior's life. Endmatter also illuminates Nelson's approach. The artist explains his approximations of the Plains Indians' traditional ledger-book style (characterized by indistinct facial expressions and flat, two-dimensional figures) and his symbolic use of color (Crazy Horse is painted blue, representative of a connection with the spirit world). His sweeping vistas and somewhat ghostly textured brushwork bolster the book's visionary theme. Ages 6-up. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 5-Crazy Horse is the revered Lakota warrior who defeated General Custer during the Battle of Little Bighorn. Bruchac provides this information and much more in an author's note, but the main narrative involves scenes of his subject's youth. He presents details from oral history, such as "Curly's" quiet nature, early leadership skills, and vision quest. The boy sought divine inspiration after his tribe was invaded by white settlers; the vision, which taught him to "Keep nothing for yourself," was to guide him throughout his life. Nelson's note acknowledges the influence of his ancestors' ledger-book style on his acrylic paintings executed on wood panels. The artist uses stylized figures, symbolic color, and texture to create dynamic scenes. While there are many stylistic similarities to Nelson's art in Gift Horse (Abrams, 1999), here the artist has a stronger sense of book design, and takes better advantage of double-page spreads, full bleeds, and tight croppings. Older children will appreciate comparing the images to the 19th-century ledger-book drawings reproduced in Russell Freedman's The Life and Death of Crazy Horse (Holiday, 1996). A fine introduction to a hero long overlooked.
Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 420L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880000946
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880000946
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #971,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joseph Bruchac is a highly acclaimed Abenaki children's book author, poet, novelist and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture. Coauthor with Michael Caduto of the bestselling Keepers of the Earth series, Bruchac's poems, articles and stories have appeared in over 500 publications, from Akwesasne Notes and American Poetry Review to National Geographic and Parabola. He has authored more than 50 books for adults and children. For more information about Joseph, please visit his website www.josephbruchac.com.

Customer Reviews

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I especially enjoyed the illistrations in this book.
"gierschie"
S.D. Nelson captures these symbols and colors in his beautiful illustrations and gives us a lesson in art history.
ernest schusky
All I really new about Crazy Horse was that he was a Indian leader when Custer died.
rhonda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Featuring color paintings by Sioux artist S. D. Nelson (who was inspired by the traditional art style of the Plains Indians), Crazy Horse's Vision by Joseph Bruchac is the true story of a young Native American boy named Curly who witnessed fierce battles between his tribe of Lakota Indians and white settlers. Defying the custom of his people, Curly ran to the hills in search of a vision, and what he saw would transform him forever. Curly would then come to be known in history as the Sioux war chief Crazy Horse. An author's note following the story relates a summary of the life and death of this brave an unselfish leader. Crazy Horse's Vision is an outstanding picture book and a welcome addition to personal, school, and community library collections.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "nickno" on September 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I adore Crazy Horse and bought this for my 5 year old daughter who just loves this story. It's a great story for anyone and I highly recommend it for all schools.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my daughter who is in Gr.2. I am deeply troubled by the approach to history I see in American schools. The children are taught to celebrate Christopher Columbus Day (The man who "discovered" America! Never mind that he was actually looking for India ...), Thanksgiving Day (A day in which we should all be thankful for having come to America, because it is a privilege to live here! Tell that to an African-American whose great-grandfather was brought here as a slave), learn all about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, etc. But these young Americans are taught nothing about Native American history, slavery, Crazy Horse or Frederick Douglass. What I see in my child's school is a curriculum light on facts, heavy on patriotism - designed to impress upon young minds America's exceptionalism based on a heavily redacted, thoroughly sanitized history. This was how it was in apartheid South Africa ... It does not lead to anywhere good, let me tell you. A nation only truly achieves progress when it reckons truthfully with its past.

So I must supplement my little American's school history with whatever I can find that will give her a fuller picture of her country's real history. I love the unique narrative voice of this book. And the art work based on the style of the people of the story makes it extra special - a Lakota story, told in their voice and imagery. This is a great story for young children to begin their journey into Native American history and its key figures.

Note that, this book ends with an allusion to the coming conflict with the white settlers, but does not go there, and therefore does not mention Crazy Horse's murder either. But my daughter did ask what happened to him ...
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By MichaelaQuinn on February 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This beautifully illustrated book is one to read to your children many times over. It tells a story all American children should hear, and it has a magical feel to it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ernest schusky on September 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Marie Sandoz' autobiography of Crazy Horse was the first book I read about Native Americans. It inspried a life long interest. Bruchac has used her work to describe Crazy Horse's youth for the young reader. His moral character is a model of Dakota values: generosity, bravery, respect for relatives, and putting others before self. Crazy Horse serves as an example for all youth. His story culminates in his Vision Quest when he learns his personal fetish and finds supernatural guidance in chosing face paint and symbols. He also earns his name, when his father bestows his own name on Crazy Horse.
S.D. Nelson captures these symbols and colors in his beautiful illustrations and gives us a lesson in art history. His back covers are ledger book art which he explains in an end note. The style obviously inspires his own work, but Nelson has added dimension and expression and action to give us a unique style. Interestingly, the dimension and expression come through most visibly in his animals. Crazy Horse reveals no emotion.
My grandchildren were fascinated with the art but at five and three a little young for the story.
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