Reviews for Buffalo Bird Girl : A Hidatsa Story


Booklist Reviews 2013 February #2
Drawing on Buffalo Bird Girl's historic personal accounts, this handsome picture-book biography tells her story in the first person about growing up American Indian on the Great Plains in the nineteenth century. Born in the Hidatsa tribe in Like-a-Fishhook Village, she is raised by loving grandparents and aunts after the devastating smallpox epidemic, brought by the whites, kills her parents. Despite the losses and hardships, which include brutal winter blizzards, she remembers a blissful childhood. Along with archival, sepia-tone photos, Nelson's moving pencil drawings and acrylic paintings show the girl and her community throughout the year: the women and girls harvesting, cooking, dressing up; the men hunting. Her grandmother teaches her to use a buffalo shoulder blade like a shovel. She loves the wonderful new luxuries the white traders bring, including kettles, sugar, and guns. But then comes the buffalo hunting for trade, the hides in piles like mountains. The personal focus is bound to spark discussion, and many readers will want to go on to the very lengthy informative notes. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Living from approximately 1839 1932, Buffalo Bird Woman of the Hidatsa people experienced the significant changes in Native American life on the Great Plains. Incorporating quotes taken from her interview(s) with anthropologist Gilbert Wilson, Nelson meticulously recreates incidents from her childhood in the first person. Glowing acrylics, pencil drawings, and archival photographs illustrate the biography. An extensive author's note is appended. Timeline. Bib., ind.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #2
A noted Native American artist interprets the early life of Buffalo Bird Woman, Waheenee-wea, one of the last of the Hidatsa to live according to old traditions. Using material from his subject's own reminiscences, published by an anthropologist in the early 20th century, Lakota painter and biographer Nelson describes Buffalo Bird's village childhood. Each section begins with a quote from her own story. Born around 1840, "three years after the smallpox winter," the girl grew up in Like-a-Fishhook Village high over the Missouri River in what is now North Dakota. There, for nine months of each year, she lived with her family in an earth-mound lodge. She describes helping her aunts and grandmother with traditional household and garden tasks, visiting a trading center, playing with other children and her dog, and a Lakota attack. During winter's worst weather, villagers retreated to temporary lodges in the woodlands, where they ate stored food. The extraordinary illustration of this handsome volume begins with the endpaper maps and features acrylic paintings of the Hidatsa world reminiscent of traditional Plains Indian art. Pencil drawings and relevant, carefully labeled photographs round out the exquisite design. All the artwork both supports and adds to the text. An extensive author's note and timeline supplement this beautiful tribute. Pair with Nelson's Gift Horse (1999) for a broad vision of Plains Indian childhood. (notes, bibliography, index) (Informational picture book. 7-12) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2013 March/April
S. D. Nelson grew up listening to his grandmother's stories. Now, he has created a story that weaves the tale of Buffalo Bird Girl with facts from the Hidatsa culture. Buffalo Bird Girl has a strong heart like the buffalo with the good spirit of the bird. She tells the story of women's work, men's responsibilities, hardships, and triumphs of her tribe. Nelson has created paintings to tell Buffalo Bird Girl's story, and the book alternates these with archival photographs. There is extensive end matter with several pages of historical notes to explain the story's context. Nelson's memories are vivid and depict his cultural pride. As a writer, storyteller, and traditional artist of the Sioux people, his perspective is genuine and effectively portrayed. This book would be enjoyable for anyone interested in history, but would also be an effective resource in the classroom to support the curriculum. Bibliography. Lisa Hunt, NBCT Elementary Library Media Specialist, Apple Creek Elementary, oore, Oklahoma. RECOMMENDED Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 December #4

Blending archival material with original prose and artwork, Nelson (Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota Story) crafts a first-person biography of Waheenee-wea (Buffalo Bird Woman), a member of the Hidatsa tribe that flourished near the Missouri River on the Great Plains. Photographs of the Hidatsa people tending to crops, preparing food, and dressed in traditional attire bring their daily activities and traditions into vivid relief. Nelson's acrylic paintings and b&w pencil drawings are intriguingly interlaced with the photographs, contrasting Native American figures in blunt profile with harvest colors and background textures that mimic dried spears of grass, leather skins, and basket weaves. Quotations from Buffalo Bird Woman's writings (which she recorded in collaboration with an anthropologist in 1906) appear throughout, including a lament over the loss of land and customs after her people were relocated to a reservation: "I am an old woman now. The buffaloes and black-tail deer are gone, and our Indian ways are almost gone. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I ever lived them." A memorable account of perseverance. Ages 6â??10. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Blending archival material with original prose and artwork, Nelson (Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota Story) crafts a first-person biography of Waheenee-wea (Buffalo Bird Woman), a member of the Hidatsa tribe that flourished near the Missouri River on the Great Plains. Photographs of the Hidatsa people tending to crops, preparing food, and dressed in traditional attire bring their daily activities and traditions into vivid relief. Nelson's acrylic paintings and b&w pencil drawings are intriguingly interlaced with the photographs, contrasting Native American figures in blunt profile with harvest colors and background textures that mimic dried spears of grass, leather skins, and basket weaves. Quotations from Buffalo Bird Woman's writings (which she recorded in collaboration with an anthropologist in 1906) appear throughout, including a lament over the loss of land and customs after her people were relocated to a reservation: "I am an old woman now. The buffaloes and black-tail deer are gone, and our Indian ways are almost gone. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I ever lived them." A memorable account of perseverance. Ages 6â??10. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 November

Gr 3-6--In 1921, anthropologist Gilbert L. Wilson published Waheenee: An Indian Girl's Story. In it, his narrator, Buffalo Bird Woman, recounted her experiences growing up on the Great Plains of North Dakota in the traditional Hidatsa culture of the late 19th century. In this lovely book, similar in verbal and illustrative caliber to his Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota Story (Abrams, 2010), Nelson takes Wilson's rendering of Buffalo Bird Woman's life and focuses on her childhood in the 1830s and 1840s. A meld of full-color, acrylic paintings, soft black colored-pencil drawings, and both period and contemporary photos re-creates the life of a child on the open prairie. The Hidatsa awareness of the passing seasons, the chores, farming tasks, and hunting practices of the tribe are aligned with the annual rhythm in a prose that is at once informative and rhythmic. Historical events are related, such as the advent of the fur-trading business with its concomitant influx of white traders, the construction of Fort Berthold, wars with the Lakota, and the decimating smallpox epidemic that struck when Buffalo Bird Woman was six, carrying off her mother, brother, and one of her aunts. The tone is at once matter of fact and elegiac, as Buffalo Bird Woman finishes her narrative as an old woman, living on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. A beautiful introduction to a traditional way of life, the book contains a detailed historical afterword and a rich array of back matter. This is a lovely and graceful introduction to a way of life that persists despite cultural obstacles and the march of time.Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA

[Page 124]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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