Knots on a Counting Rope

Bill Martin, Jr., Author, John Archambault, Joint Author, Ted Rand, Illustrator
Bill Martin, Jr., Author, John Archambault, Joint Author, Ted Rand, Illustrator Henry Holt & Company $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0571-4
Reviewed on: 10/15/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
Gathered near a campfire under a canopy of stars, a Navaho Indian boy hears the tale of his birth from his grandfather. Born on a windy night, the child was weak and frail. In the early morning, Grandfather brought him out to meet the morning. Two blue horses galloped by, stopped and looked at him; the baby raised his arms to them. Grandfather said, ""This boy child will not die. The great blue horses have given him the strength to live.'' Named Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses, the child later needs that well of strength to deal with the fact that he is blind. Rand's atmospheric, vivid paintings evoke the tale's sensibility as they move it along. The beauty and vastness of the Western sky and the intimacy of two loving figures by a campfire are portrayed with equal fluidity. A rich tale of intergenerational love and respect, this is bittersweet and unsentimental. It is a moving collaborative effort that reverberates long after the book is closed. Ages 5-8. (October)
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