cover image Iktomi and the Ducks: A Plains Indian Story

Iktomi and the Ducks: A Plains Indian Story

Paul Goble. Orchard Books (NY), $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05883-1

The Plains Indian trickster Iktomi ( Iktomi and the Boulder ; Iktomi and the Berries ) is back, starring in another hilarious tale about the consequences of greed and conceit. While searching for his horse, Iktomi spies some ducks and decides to make a meal of them. The silly birds fall for a typically outrageous Iktomi scheme, and are soon roasting on spits while the boy pats himself on the back. But self-congratulations prove premature: before Iktomi can enjoy his luscious dinner, a wily coyote tricks the trickster and gives him his just deserts. Goble again proves himself a master of sly humor (under Iktomi's gorgeously rendered native garb he sports an ``I'M SIOUX INDIAN AND PROUD OF IT'' T-shirt), and, as always, his paintings seem to glow. Iktomi legends, according to the author's prefatory note, are hundreds of years old. But in his braggadocio and resilience, he will be as familiar to modern children as a peek in a mirror. Ages 3-6. (Aug.)