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The Legend Of the White Buffalo Woman Hardcover – July 1, 1998
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A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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Gr. 4^-8. In this picture book for older readers, Goble uses his characteristic decorative paintings to help retell an important sacred legend of the Lakota people. He describes a great flood, which killed almost all life on the earth, and relates how the nation came to be born again from the union of a woman of the earth and an eagle of the sky. He then explains how the people came upon hard and frightening times and tells of the arrival of the powerful White Buffalo Woman, who gave the Lakota people the Sacred Calf Pipe, a gift of the Great Spirit. The use of boldface headings and the braiding together of several myths interrupt the flow of the text, leaving readers to pick up additional meaning from the illustrations, but Goble fans, young and old, will enjoy the details in the clothing and landscape. The cartoonlike battle scene, with bloody, rolling heads, will certainly attract the attention of some young readers. In addition to notes regarding the significance of the tale, how he determined the style of clothing, and why he utilized specific related myths in his retelling, Goble lists primary and secondary sources. Additional information about Indian pipes is appended, as is a map pinpointing Pipestone Quarry, now a national monument. Karen Morgan
From Kirkus Reviews
Goble (The Return of the Buffaloes, 1996, etc.) prefaces the story of the first pipe, ``the most important of all Lakota sacred legends,'' with a Great Flood legend, then appends an account of the meaning attached to the pipe and its parts, along with a finely detailed drawing of a pipe in his possession. In a time of troubles, a mysterious woman comes walking across the prairie. The first man she meets tries to rape her and is blasted into bones; the second she sends as a messenger, so that the people are ready when she presents to them the Sacred Calf Pipe. After her transformation into a white buffalo calf, the buffalo has one more gift, the red stone that is still an integral element of all traditional pipes. Drawn just above ground level and clad in spectacular ceremonial costume, Goble's stylized figures seem appropriately larger than life, and the Lakota prayers and comments he quotes further enhance the reverent tone. (map, glossary, notes) (Picture book/folklore. 7-11) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.