Picture of author.

Nancy Van Laan

Autor(a) de When Winter Comes

31+ Works 2,963 Membros 111 Críticas

About the Author

Image credit: via Goodreads

Obras por Nancy Van Laan

When Winter Comes (2000) — Autor — 646 exemplares, 8 críticas
Rainbow Crow: A Lenape Tale (1989) 396 exemplares, 12 críticas
Possum Come A-Knockin' (1990) — Autor — 390 exemplares, 7 críticas
So Say the Little Monkeys (1998) — Autor — 294 exemplares, 3 críticas
A Mouse in My House (1990) 97 exemplares, 1 crítica
Shingebiss: An Ojibwe Legend (1997) 73 exemplares, 4 críticas
Little Fish, Lost (1998) 71 exemplares, 10 críticas
The Tiny, Tiny Boy and the Big, Big Cow (1993) 70 exemplares, 2 críticas
With a Whoop and a Holler (1998) 66 exemplares, 1 crítica
A Tree for Me (2000) 57 exemplares, 8 críticas
The Magic Bean Tree: A Legend from Argentina (1998) 54 exemplares, 7 críticas
Buffalo Dance: A Blackfoot Legend (1993) 54 exemplares, 4 críticas
Moose Tales (1999) 49 exemplares, 5 críticas
Forget Me Not (2014) 47 exemplares, 6 críticas
The Big Fat Worm (1987) 43 exemplares, 2 críticas
This Is the Hat: A Story in Rhyme (1992) 42 exemplares, 3 críticas
Tickle Tum! (2001) 38 exemplares, 3 críticas
Busy, Busy Moose (2003) 38 exemplares, 5 críticas
Scrubba Dub (2003) 32 exemplares, 1 crítica
Teeny Tiny Tingly Tales (2001) 31 exemplares, 4 críticas
Mama Rocks, Papa Sings (1994) 31 exemplares, 5 críticas
Little Baby Bobby (1997) 27 exemplares, 1 crítica
Nit-Pickin' (2008) 20 exemplares
Round and Round Again (1994) 17 exemplares, 1 crítica
People, People Everywhere (1992) 15 exemplares
LA Boda: A Mexican Wedding Celebration (1996) 12 exemplares, 4 críticas

Associated Works

Eric Carle's Dragons, Dragons (1991) — Contribuidor — 730 exemplares, 19 críticas


Conhecimento Comum



With winter approaching and little food stored away due to a season of unsuccessful buffalo hunts, the Blackfoot are in serious trouble in this picture retelling of a traditional tale. A young woman of the tribe, up early one morning to fetch water, sees the buffalo herd just near the piskun (buffalo jump) her people had created, and determined to help, offers to marry one of the buffalo and stay with him if some of them will jump to their death, thereby providing food for the Blackfoot. When the buffalo agree, and the girl must honor her word and marry their chief, her father cannot accept this state of affairs, and follows after her, only to be slain in turn. Taking pity on the girl, the buffalo chief gives the girl the opportunity to win her freedom, if she can bring her father back to life. Her ability to do this, thereby demonstrating strong medicine, lead to a happy ending for her and her father, and to the introduction of the buffalo dance amongst her people. This sacred ceremony gives thanks to the buffalo that are soon to die, and assures them that they too will live again...

Buffalo Dance: A Blackfoot Legend is the third picture book folktale retelling I have read from author Nancy Van Laan and illustrator Beatriz Vidal, following upon The Magic Bean Tree: A Legend from Argentina and Rainbow Crow: A Lenape Tale. Apparently they also have a fourth, The Legend of El Dorado, which I have yet to track down. In any case, I found this one quite engaging, appreciating both the story and the artwork. The tale itself is fascinating, offering an explanation of how an important custom of the Blackfoot people came to be. The themes of self sacrifice, honoring one's word, having pity on a traditional enemy (as the buffalo chief does with the girl), and understanding the parallel experiences of others (the girl loses her father, just as the buffalo lose their own in the hunt), are all worth considering. The artwork was lovely, and I appreciated the inclusion of traditional Blackfoot decorative motifs and patterns, as well as pictographs. I would have liked to know about the latter, and what Beatriz Vidal's source was for them, but leaving that aside, I thought this was an enjoyable foray into the folk traditions of the Blackfoot people and would recommend it to readers interested in the same, or in folklore and mythology in general.
… (mais)
AbigailAdams26 | 3 outras críticas | Jul 21, 2024 |
Author Nancy Van Laan and illustrator Beatriz Vidal retell a traditional Native American story in this lovely picture book, describing an idyllic early time before man entered the scene, in which the animals lived a happy and comfortable life in a world that was always warm. When the first snow came, the animals soon grew concerned at its dangers, and determined to send an emissary to the Great Sky Spirit. Only Crow, at that time a gorgeously-colored bird with a sweet voice, made for a suitable emissary, and off he flew, returning with the gift of fire. But in the process of bringing this life-saving blessing to the animals of earth, his coat was burnt a sooty black, and his once sweet voice hoarsened to a croak...

Having enjoyed other titles by both Van Laan and Vidal, who subsequently collaborated on a number of other picture books—The Legend of El Dorado: A Latin American Tale, Buffalo Dance: A Blackfoot Legend, The Magic Bean Tree: A Legend from Argentina—and having recently read a collection of Lenape folklore (John Bierhorst's The White Deer and Other Stories Told by the Lenape), I sought out Rainbow Crow with some anticipation. I was not disappointed, finding the story engrossing and ultimately poignant, and the artwork simply charming. I appreciated the message about sacrifice here, but also about the beauty to be found in so many different kinds of ways—a lesson Crow learns when the Great Sky Spirit shows him he does not need to be rainbow-colored to be beautiful. As for the visuals, they were just lovely! The color palette used by Vidal was gorgeous, the animal figures expressive and endearing—a real treat!

All this being said, I do have some questions about the provenance of this tale. Apparently Van Laan heard a Lenape storyteller, one Bill "Whippoorwhill" Thompson, telling the story some decades ago, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and received permission from him to retell it. John Bierhorst however, the folklorist who collected the tales in The White Deer and Other Stories Told by the Lenape, and who wrote Mythology of the Lenape, lists it as a tale of "uncertain origin," indicating it might in fact be a Cherokee tale. I am not sure where the truth lies, but have cataloged this as both Lenape and Cherokee folklore. In any case, I would still recommend this one to young folklore lovers, as it is clear it is a folktale, despite the confusion around cultural source, and is well worth seeking out in its own right, as an engaging story.
… (mais)
AbigailAdams26 | 11 outras críticas | Jun 18, 2024 |
AullwoodMVCDC | 7 outras críticas | Jun 7, 2024 |
A tale about why the black-mouthed monkeys live in thorny trees. Although the moral of the story is "don't put off until tomorrow what you could do today," I felt there was a missed opportunity to talk about the protection from predators that the thorny trees provided.
labfs39kids | 2 outras críticas | Mar 28, 2023 |



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