Arrow to the Sun: A Pueblo Indian Tale (Picture Puffins) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1977/2/1
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With vibrant colors and bold geometric forms, Gerald McDermott brilliantly captures the stylized look of Pueblo Indian art in this Caldecott Award-winning retelling of an ancient legend. A young boy searches for his father, but before he can claim his heritage he must first prove his worthiness by passing through the four ceremonial chambers: the kiva of lions, the kiva of snakes, the kiva of bees, and the kiva of lightning. Striking in its simplicity and grace, Arrow to the Sun vividly evokes the Native American reverence for the source of all life—the Solar Fire.
Winner of the Caldecott
Gerald McDermott was an award-winning author, illustrator, and filmmaker who is remembered for his unique style of vibrant, visual storytelling. His picture books feature folktales and cultures from all around the world.
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I would likely never have picked this book off the shelf in the library myself. Although I like native American stories, I tend to go for the pretty pictures (Legend of the Blue Bonnet) in a children's book, not the bold colored, angular art. The boy feels estranged from his community because he does not know who his father is, then finds out that the sun is his father, through going through trials. The trials involve Kivas, or the ritual rooms found in Pueblo structures. In the end he is a part of his community. It IS a nice story.
The storybook itself has amazing art work and helps keep a child engaged as the journey goes on. I love this book and I hope you will too.
Buy this for a good read to your littlest ones.
I can attest to the fact that the high contrast, brightly colored drawings are mesmerizing for a small child. The best part of the book is when the boy must complete four tasks for the sun god to prove himself. The tasks are not narrated, you get to see how the tasks are completed from how the drawings change. It's so cool! I felt very smart as a little kid being able to discover what he did and figure it our for myself.
On a cultural note, the narrative is similar to the Christ story. Mother gives birth to the boy (a virgin birth) after the sun god sends a ray of energy to her. The boy grows up and wants to know who his father is, and goes on a quest to find him and prove that he is indeed the son of the sun god. (That's why he becomes an arrow to the sun!)
I think it's good for a child to be exposed to this story to begin to understand the universal elements of religion and that all cultures have a lot in common. Even those that seem strange are not so different from our own.