Sky Dogs

 

This original folk tale uses both the Piegan mythic stories about how the horse came to the Piegan (Blackfeet) people and also some historical matter. There are full notes on the last page. It is always tricky business, writing in another culture. I heard that one Native spokesman said that "She has an authentic voice." That pleases me enormously. Moser’s artwork is (as always) superb. For art fanciers, note that this is the first time Moser actually used art work that went across the "gutter" or center fold of a book. Before that, he always stated that he didn’t want a crease running down his art. There was a boxed, signed and numbered limited edition published simultaneously with the regular hardcover, 250 copies in total. The book won a Walden Books Best Children’s Book of the Year Honor, was on the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List, nominated for the Young Hoosier Picture Book award, and was an ALA Notable Book. It has been translated into Hawaiian.

What reviewers have said:

  • "In fluid storytelling style, Yolen melds the mythic and the realistic modes in the emotions and reactions of her narrator. . .Writer and artist together have produced a fine evocation of a place and a people." — School Library Journal
  • "Jane Yolen is an incomparable storyteller…she never disappoints….unforgettable and spellbinding." –AB Bookman’s Weekly
  • "Yolen has fashioned a spare, realistic tale…" — Booklist
  • "Yolen’s dignified, lyrical style turns the episode into an event that resonates with significance; Moser’s stunning watercolor illustrations…shine with the glory of remembered youth." — Kirkus * starred review
  • "…lovely and haunting." — Publishers Weekly
  • "The text is smooth, poetic, and nicely suited to reading aloud…" Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
  • "Imagine sitting around a campfire and listening to an old Indian of the Piegan [a band of the Blackfeet] tell about the coming of horses to his people. They called them ‘Sky Dogs.’ Yolen tells an original tale based on the myths and legends of the Blackfeet. The magic is created by her poetic style, tempered to the tongue of the storyteller. Moser’s paintings in deep golds, oranges, and browns, recreate the setting and the time. It is an enchanting and awesome experience." — Children’s Literature

Materials available for teachers:

  • Harcourt has a Teacher’s Guide for the book.

Available in the Voyager paperback.


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