Title: Crazy Horse’s Vision
Author: Joseph Bruchac & S D Nelson
Publisher: Lee and Low
May Contain Spoilers
Joseph Bruchac tells the compelling story of how a young boy named Curly seeks a vision in the hope of saving his people – and grows into the brave and fierce warrior Crazy Horse. Sioux artist S. D. Nelson’s paintings, in the traditional ledger style of the Plains Indians, evokes the drama and the tragedy of this important American figure.
My fascination with the lives of Native Americans continues. I haven’t read many picture books about Plains Indians, so discovering new reading material at the library has been fun. Crazy Horse’s Vision is my favorite to date. It doesn’t cover much of the conflict between white settlers and the Lakota, instead focusing on Crazy Horse’s childhood. The tone is more upbeat than my previous forays into the lives of famous Native Americans, and the paintings are breathtaking. I love S D Nelson’s use of color; these illustrations are big and bold, the vivid hues jumping off the pages and demanding more than a second glance.
Introducing readers to Crazy Horse, the book follows the carefree days of his youth. Though lacking in stature, he was a charismatic child with a thirst for adventure. Exploring one end of the Lakota territory to the other, where he led, the other boys followed. From his first buffalo hunt to the taming of his pinto horse, bright visuals accompany his childhood triumphs. When trouble brews between his people and the white settlers, Crazy Horse is desperate to help protect his band. Striking out on his own, he seeks a vision to give him the wisdom to help the Lakota during the troubled times that are fast approaching.
Gorgeous illustrations document Crazy Horse and his childhood vision quest. I found this an interesting look at one of the fiercest Lakota warriors. Remembered for his prowess in battle, Crazy Horse was also kind and generous, as well as a man of few words. The prose is interesting and highly readable, but the bold, vivid illustrations are what held my attention and kept me flipping through this book time and again. The paintings are beautiful and made this a delight to read.
Review copy obtained from my local library