I am adding the book, The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush retold and illustrated by Tomie de Paola to the Perfect Picture Book Fridays List.
Author/Illustrator: Tomie de Paola
Publisher: Puffin 1996
Ages: 4 and Up
Themes: Be Yourself, Special Talents, Self-Esteem/Self-Worth, Self-Acceptance, Nature, History
“Many years ago when the People traveled the Plains and lived in a circle of teepees, there was a boy who was smaller than the rest of the children in the tribe. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t keep up with the other boys who were always riding, running, shooting their bows, and wrestling to prove their strength. Sometimes his mother and father worried for him.”
This folk tale is a retold legend of how the wildflower, The Indian Paintbrush, came to be on the plains of North America. It is the tale of a Native American boy, Little Gopher, who is small and longs to be a warrior. His path leads different than others however. Little Gopher has a Dream Vision in which he is told to paint on buckskin the deeds of the warriors and the legends of the tribe. He longs to be a great hero to the tribe, and eventually he succeeds, but not in the way of the warrior as he thought.
The colorful illustrations accentuate the authenticity of a tale that encourages children to follow a different drummer. – Children’s Book Review Service.
The humanity expressed in this story illustrates the value of perseverance and of the endurance of effort that will bring its reward – School Library Journal (starred review).
The Nebraska DOT has a roadside wildflower guide to download if you plan on traveling through the plains states.
Pinterest has a Wildflowers board of the Midwest
Here is what an Indian Paintbrush plant looks like
The US Forest Service has some coloring pages for wildflowers
Classroom/Home activity: Discover what native wildflowers are located in the child’s own state. Pick one flower to research. Draw a picture of the flower.
Why I like this book:
This book touched my heart because it is about a child who is different from everyone else around them. It is how this child overcame adversity to walk their own path in life. Tomie de Paola is one of my favorite author & illustrators who has a way of telling a complex story in a way that children can understand. His illustrations are delightful and fun, making the book even more engaging to children. Tomie writes at the end of the book that he is retelling this legend that was first published in 1965 in an article for Austin American-Statesman by Ruth D. Isley. It is now collected in the book, Texas Wildflowers, Stories and Legends.
Perfect Picture Book Fridays are a weekly blog event where participants review some of their favorite picture books. The posts are compiled on author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. They are categorized by theme to help parents, educators and readers find the perfect picture book easily. To learn more, please visit Susanna’s site where you will find the complete PPBF’s library.
*November is Picture Book Month! Read *Share *Celebrate!