cover image A Boy Called Slow

A Boy Called Slow

Joseph Bruchac. Philomel Books, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22692-2

Like most Lakota Sioux boys, Slow yearns for the special vision or manly deed that will inspire his permanent, adult name. Encouraged by splendid stories of his father's bravery, wisdom and leadership, Slow focuses his energy on becoming a warrior. Friends gradually begin to associate his name with careful deliberation. When the moment of his manhood arrives, Slow rides heroically against Crow warriors, earning the name Tatan'ka Iyota'ke (translated, on the final page, as Sitting Bull). Bruchac's (see Gluskabe and the Four Wishes, reviewed above) meaty yet cohesive narrative is richly complemented by Baviera's large, atmospheric paintings. Employing a somber palette marked by radiant bursts, the first-time children's illustrator evokes the solemnity and awe of ripening adulthood. Satisfying for its attention to historical and multicultural issues; stirring in its consummate storytelling. Ages 5-up. (Mar.)