cover image Iktomi and the Buzzard: A Plains Indian Story

Iktomi and the Buzzard: A Plains Indian Story

Paul Goble. Orchard Books (NY), $16.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-06812-0

In his fifth Iktomi story, Goble sends the Sioux trickster flying on board a buzzard. Touchdown does not go as expected, however, as Iktomi cannot resist insulting the buzzard and is pitched head-first into a hollow tree. With his customary bold colors and pristine page design, the Caldecott Medalist strikingly presents Iktomi in eagle feathers on his way to a powwow. Less successful is the interactive text in this installment. Passages in gray type, according to an introductory note, aim to ``encourage listeners, young and old, to make comments''; these are generally innocuous and occasionally distracting. On the other hand, Iktomi's thoughts, rendered in small type next to the illustrations, cheapen the story with an injection of very low comedy (``They say Buzzard SMELLS his prey. . . . Did I forget my roll-on?''). Iktomi is not the only one to sink in this outing. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)