Native American stories are as varied as the trees on the Earth and yet have many common themes, whether told by the Inuit of Alaska or the Seminole of Florida. Traditional Native stories are based on honoring all life, especially the plants and animals we depend on, as well as our human ancestors. Most stories talk about the living beings within a specific tribe’s homeland—the raven of the Pacific Northwest, the coyote from the desert, the buffalo of the Plains, the beaver of the Eastern woodlands. Stories explain why and how certain local plants and animals came to be, such as Narragansett storyteller Tchin’s lesson of why rabbits have such long ears. Other stories explain ceremony and ritual, such as Hoskie Benally’s story “The Five Sacred Medicines”.
Famine. A giant eagle. And a boy who would be prey. The book combines excitement, adventure, and the dream of all humans. To fly. Naa'ki, a boy snatched by a giant eagle, must use his wits and knowledge to survive. And to save his people and animals from starvation. To succeed, he will have to give up his future.
Pickup trucks and eagles, yellow school buses and painted horses, Mother Earth and Sister Meadowlark all join together to greet the dawn. They marvel at the colours and sounds, smells and memories that dawn creates. Animals and humans alike turn their faces upwards and gaze as the sun makes its daily journey from horizon to horizon. Dawn is a time to celebrate with a smiling heart, to start a new day in the right way, excited for what might come. Birds sing and dance, children rush to learn, dewdrops glisten from leaves, and gradually the sun warms us. Each time the sun starts a new circle, we can start again as well. All these things are part of the Lakota way, a means of living in balance. S. D. Nelson offers young readers wonder and happiness as a better way of appreciating their culture and surroundings. He draws inspiration from traditional stories to create Greet the Dawn . His artwork fuses elements of modern with traditional. Above all, he urges each of us to seize the opportunity that dawn offers each day.
Shota is a young Lakota girl who lives in a contemporary American city. When the block that her family and friends live on is threatened by development, they use long-standing Lakota traditions to find a solution that saves their homes. In working together, they create a beautiful quilt that resolves more than just their problem. This story weaves together traditional folktale values with modern concerns for the urban environment and green issues. In addition to the beautiful folk-style native art illustrations, the complete text of the story is presented in Lakota as well as English.
Decrepit and hungry, Coyote feels as if he's nothing but an old bag of bones. He wants to be young and strong again. He knows that young Buffalo has special powers, since he provides food, clothing, and shelter for the people. He asks Young Buffalo to change him into a young buffalo bull like himself. Buffalo obliges, but also warns Coyote: 'Remember, even though most of you looks like a young buffalo on the outside, on the inside, you are still a powerless coyote.'
Long ago, the people known as the Ashiwi offended the Corn Maidens, the spirits who had given them bountiful harvests. Hard times came, and it was left to a boy and his little sister to restore the good fortune of their people.
In this story from the Siksika (formerly known as the Blackfoot), spring fails to come to the land. A boy discovers the reason: Bear has stolen the chinook. Then the boy and his friends -- Owl, Coyote, Weasel, Prairie Chicken, and Magpie -- set out in pursuit of Bear. When they locate his den, the problem becomes freeing the chinook from the fierce animal. But thanks to the boy's ingenuity, the group prevails. Spring returns, the tribe celebrates, and from that time on, Bear is compelled to sleep through winter.
A lonely old woman adopts, cares for, and raises a polar bear as if he were her own son, until jealous villagers threaten the bear's life, forcing him to leave his home and his "mother," in a retelling of a traditional Inuit folktale.
Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that’s all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn’t mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he’s done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.
But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name…a name that is sure to light up the sky.