Silver Medal, Picture Book Early Reader—Literary Classics Book Awards, 2013
Silver Medal, Best Illustrator—Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, 2012
"Nelson, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, skillfully melds modern and traditional images of people in lush acrylics painted on textured paper. Interspersing the story are songs in the Lakota language, placed alongside English translations. These lovely bits of verse ("At dawn / may I roam / against the winds / may I roam") accompanied by colorful depictions of the ancestors singing and drumming in a circle enhance the connection between generations."—Kirkus Reviews
"Every page, and I mean EVERY page, is completely illustrated. And oh my! The full-colour illustrations are astounding—bright, beautiful depictions filled with meaning and expression of the spiritual experience of living a balanced life the Lakota way."—Goodreads.com
"With swaying lyricism, Greet the Dawn is a lovely book that combines a number of visual influences with the prayers and chants of the Lakota [Indians] as they worship the natural elements throughout the day."—TheRustyKey.com
Pickup trucks and eagles, yellow school buses and painted horses, Mother Earth and Sister Meadowlark all join together to greet the dawn. They marvel at the colors and sounds, smells and memories that come with the opening of the day. Animals and humans alike turn their faces upwards and gaze as the sun makes its daily journey from horizon to horizon.
Dawn is a time to celebrate with a smiling heart, to start a new day in the right way, excited for what might come. Birds sing and dance, children rush to learn, dewdrops glisten from leaves, and gradually the sun warms us. Each time the sun starts a new circle, we can start again as well.
All these things are part of the Lakota way, a means of living in balance. S. D. Nelson offers young readers a joyous way of appreciating their culture and surroundings. He draws inspiration from traditional stories to create Greet the Dawn. His artwork fuses elements of modern with traditional. Above all, he urges each of us to seize the opportunity that comes with the dawn of each new day.
S. D. Nelson at the 2012 South Dakota Festival of Books:
Greet the Dawn book trailer: