Crazy Horse's Vision
Crazy Horse's Vision

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Annotation: A story based on the life of the dedicated young Lakota boy who grew up to be one of the bravest defenders of his people.
Catalog Number: #63703
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2000
Edition Date: 2000
Illustrator: Nelson, S. D.,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-584-30282-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-28380-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-584-30282-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-28380-0
Dewey: E
LCCN: 99047451
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
For reading aloud. Crazy Horse, famous Lakota warrior and leader during the mid-1800s, was different even as a child. He was called Curly because of his curly hair, and he was small in stature and quiet. He was, however, a natural leader, inspiring others with his bravery and generosity. After witnessing white soldiers kill Conquering Bear, the 14-year-old Curly went into the hills to seek a vision. After three days, the vision appeared, but his father and uncle would not listen because Curly had not prepared himself in the traditional manner. Three years later, his father asked Curly about the vision, and as a result, gave his son the name Tashunka Witco, or Crazy Horse. Bruchac has created a memorable tale about Crazy Horse's childhood, capturing the spirit of one of the most dedicated and daring leaders among the Lakota. In beautiful illustrations inspired by the ledger book style of the Plains Indians, Sioux artist Nelson fills the pages with both action and quiet drama. An author's note provides information about Crazy Horse's adult years and death, and an illustrator's note explains the art.
Horn Book
This fictionalized biography covers Crazy Horse's early years. Focusing on his vision quest, in which Crazy Horse sees himself as an invincible leader, Bruchac paints the stoic but brilliant tactician and warrior as a hero. Nelson's acrylics on wooden panels, patterned after children's drawings in ledger books from the Indian boarding schools, are also reminiscent of the figures drawn by Plains Indians. An author's and an illustrator's note are appended.
Kirkus Reviews
<p>Bruchac (Sacajawea, 2000, etc.) teams up with a Lakota (Sioux) artist for an atmospheric view of the feared and revered Crazy Horse's youth. At birth, the child dubbed "Curly" did not cry, but "studied the world with serious eyes," quietly going on to lead all of the other youths in courage and, having watched his people being gunned down for killing a "wasichu" settler's errant cow, slipping away on a premature vision quest. His stormy vision of a rider with a lightning bolt on his cheek, spots like hail on his chest, and a clear, if unspoken, command to "keep nothing for yourself," led him to become a man as noble as he was brilliant and daring. Inspired by the ledger-book art of the Plains Indians, Nelson paints his figures with stylized forms, chiseled features, and indistinct expressions, adding realistic depth of field but giving Crazy Horse blue skin to emphasize his connection to the spirit world. The author and illustrator both append substantial explanatory notes. Like A Boy Called Slow, also by Bruchac (1995), this makes inspirational reading and affords a glimpse into the heart of a renowned American leader. (Picture book/biography. 9-11)</p>
Publishers Weekly
As he did in Gift Horse, Sioux artist Nelson blends contemporary and traditional elements for the striking illustrations that accompany this story of the legendary Lakota warrior. Bruchac (A Boy Called Slow: The True Story of Sitting Bull) traces Crazy Horse's boyhood, zeroing in on a pivotal event in his life and highlighting an important Native American rite of passage. As a youth, Crazy Horse (then known as Curly) witnesses U.S. Army soldiers brutally and unjustly attack his people. Troubled, he embarks on a vision quest and sees a figure on horseback riding untouched through a storm of lightning, hail and bullets. His father interprets the vision, telling him that """"the man on that horse is the one you will become"""" and that he is destined to defend his people. Bruchac's description of the vision quest is compelling, and his decision to limit his canvas to a few select events demonstrates his understanding of his audience; an afterword describes subsequent events in the warrior's life. Endmatter also illuminates Nelson's approach. The artist explains his approximations of the Plains Indians' traditional ledger-book style (characterized by indistinct facial expressions and flat, two-dimensional figures) and his symbolic use of color (Crazy Horse is painted blue, representative of a connection with the spirit world). His sweeping vistas and somewhat ghostly textured brushwork bolster the book's visionary theme. Ages 6-up. (May)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 5-Crazy Horse is the revered Lakota warrior who defeated General Custer during the Battle of Little Bighorn. Bruchac provides this information and much more in an author's note, but the main narrative involves scenes of his subject's youth. He presents details from oral history, such as "Curly's" quiet nature, early leadership skills, and vision quest. The boy sought divine inspiration after his tribe was invaded by white settlers; the vision, which taught him to "Keep nothing for yourself," was to guide him throughout his life. Nelson's note acknowledges the influence of his ancestors' ledger-book style on his acrylic paintings executed on wood panels. The artist uses stylized figures, symbolic color, and texture to create dynamic scenes. While there are many stylistic similarities to Nelson's art in Gift Horse (Abrams, 1999), here the artist has a stronger sense of book design, and takes better advantage of double-page spreads, full bleeds, and tight croppings. Older children will appreciate comparing the images to the 19th-century ledger-book drawings reproduced in Russell Freedman's The Life and Death of Crazy Horse (Holiday, 1996). A fine introduction to a hero long overlooked.-Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Word Count: 1,343
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.0 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 41519 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.5 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q21817
Lexile: 600L

Crazy Horse is among the best known Native American heroes. Yet many people do not know his boyhood name was Curly, inspired by his curly hair. Curly was a leader even as a young boy, taming wild horses and hunting powerful buffalo. But all his bravery could not prepare him for the trouble he and the other Lakota Indians would face with the white settlers. Wanting to help his people after a fierce battle that mortally wounded Chief Conquering Bear, Curly defied traditional custom and risked his own life by running away, up to the hills, to seek a vision. Renowned Abenaki author Joseph Bruchac tells a gripping and compelling story of how the dedicated young boy, Curly, grows into the brave warrior Crazy Horse. Sioux artist S.D. Nelson, with paintings inspired by the ledger book style of the Plains Indians, evokes the drama and tragedy of an important figure in American history.

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