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Love Flute (Aladdin Picture Books) Paperback – November 1, 1997

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Traditionally, the Native American man would use a "love flute" to woo the woman he loved, to speak to her of things that words alone could never express. In this lyrical tale, a young man too timid to profess his love is presented with such a flute by two mysterious Elk men. Goble writes with a poetic energy, a graceful enthusiasm of "love songs carried by the breezes into the tipi circle from the surrounding pine-covered ridges and grassy hills." Striking illustrations in bold blocks of color are set against flowers alive with birds and butterflies. There is a pleasing simplicity to the artwork, an inherent sense of order in the pristine images. Imbued with warmth and spirit, each page seems to dance with movement and color, as if to the flute's beguiling music. Intricate black-and-white sketches of various love flutes on each page enhance this prepossessing work. All ages.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 6-- ``This is the story of a shy young man who was given the very first love flute, long ago, by the birds and animals.'' When he plays the instrument, the music speaks to the heart of the special girl and tells her more plainly than words that he loves her. Goble's measured prose brings this Santee Dakota myth to life. The lyricism of the romantic story is highlighted by the restraint and dignity of his writing. His familiar painting style is both rich and formal as befits the telling of a myth. The drawings of the flutes introduce a new stylistic element. Drawn in careful detail with pencil and placed vertically on the page, they give a feeling of solid reality, yet since they are different in style and scale, they retain an element of mystery. Page design and layout are admirable. Each double-page spread seems designed as a unit. There is a great deal of white space, yet bits of the landscape or design escape across the center to link the pages. As with his other books, this title celebrates the beauty and richness of Native American legend. A note on sources and historical information on courtship rituals is a welcome plus. --Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 630L (What's this?)
  • Series: Aladdin Picture Books
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; Reprint edition (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689816839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689816833
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
It has been a while since I have come across a "new" Paul Goble book (meaning one that I have not seen). Usually in one of his illustrated stories taken from the Plains Indian culture you find out the origins of the story and the sources for Goble's attention to detail in his paintings in the back of the book. But for "Love Flute," the explanation comes up front, before the story. This is where we learn that the titular object was the courting flute, used only by men to play love songs, not just when they were courting but to serenade their wives. When a man died, his flute was wrapped with his body. Goble goes into detail regarding the courtship practices (e.g., the young man brings a large blanket so he can wrap himself and the girl he is wooing underneath it and have some relative privacy in the middle of the camp in plain view of everybody).

However, the focus of "Love Flute" is not on such rich details, but rather on telling the story of the first courting flute. As Goble wryly observed, "men have always needed supernatural help to attract, and to keep, the women they love." This particular version of the story of how the love flute was given to the people is based on various myths, but most specifically one from the Santee Dakota. The story is of a shy young man who would rather face enemy warriors in battle or lead the dangerous buffalo hunt than speak to the girl he loved. He knew in his heart that he could never ever tell the young girl all he wanted to say. In despair the young man left the camp one morning and shot an arrow into the air without thinking about what he was doing. To his surprise the air stayed up in the air, pointing in a direction and leading him on at a walking pace.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the gobble books are invariably outstanding, ones that you just may want to collect. while great for children, they are totally enjoyable for adults…illustrations are truly special, memorable in fact.
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Format: Paperback
An enchanting tale of wonder and love. It is a beautiful story combining the magic of folklore with the magic of alternate forms of communication. Children love it for the magical content. Adults will love it for the sensitive introduction to Native American myth and legend.
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This is a lovely little story worth reading and sharing. The character who can speak his love only through music touches something deep within the human spirit and human yearning. A sweet romance!

What's great about this book, besides the illustration, is the detailed cultural commentary that describes how the love flute was used in courtship rituals. For older students, this information promotes historical mindedness and provokes meaningful discussion on cultural topics and cultural values. [Note: this courtship section, of course, is probably not appropriate for very young children, so parental guidance / discretion is recommended. For example, the author states, "Courtship was formal and carried out in front of everyone. There was little privacy in a tipi village; inside or outside the tipi, the only privacy was under a blanket, and what other people were polite not to hear or see." It's easy to identify this section of the book, though, because the print is in italics.]

Another great feature of this book is the collection of flute drawings, which generate interest in the personal nature (and design) of the Native American Flute and its special relationships with it owner. This book would make an excellent tie-in to Native American studies---art, music, etc. For people who love and appreciate Native American flute music, this book might make an interesting little friendship gift.

Parents who home school can use this book in concert with other Native American concepts to provide some cultural education / awareness / music studies for their older children. [For more exploration beyond the "love flute" book, you might google Odell Borg of High Spirit flutes. He is an excellent teacher of the Native American flute. His website offers more information about the very real instruments that people do play.]
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