cover image The Mud Pony: A Traditional Skidi Pawnee Tale

The Mud Pony: A Traditional Skidi Pawnee Tale

Caron Lee Cohen. Scholastic, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-41525-5

From the Skidi branch of the Pawnee Indians of the Plains comes this tale of a boy who achieves greatness in his tribe with the guidance of a pony he made out of mud. Too poor to own a pony like the other boys, he fashions a small mud pony and goes to see it every day. It is during one of these visits that the rest of the tribe moves west in search of buffalo, and the boy is left behind. Not only does the mud pony become a living, breathing horse, but she takes him to his tribe; later, she helps him become the chief of his tribe by giving him great power in battles. ``I am here, your Mother Earth. You are not alone!'' are the words he hears when the mud pony has once again gone back to the earth. Cohen retells this story with grace; Begay, a Native American artist, provides evocative paintings that derive strength and impact from the suggestion of action rather than fully detailed scenes. Ages 5-8. (September)