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Dance in a Buffalo Skull

A Prairie Tale

Dance in a Buffalo Skull


$14.95, Hardback
ISBN: 9780977795529

The second book in the Prairie Tale Series

Most Outstanding Children's Book of 2008—Mom's Choice Awards

2008 Aesop Accolade—American Folklore Society

Gold Medal Winner in the Children's Books, Ages 5-8, Myths, Legends & Fantasies category—Mom's Choice Awards Bronze Medal in the Best Illustrator category—2008 Moonbeam Awards

"An enjoyable story faithful to the original legend."—The Midwest Book Review

"The narrative tension builds deliciously . . . This tale would be perfect in a scary story time, told with the lights down low."—School Library Journal

"Nelson's illustrations add to the tension between the creeping wildcat and the celebrating mice."—School Library Journal

"This is a wonderful book for both children and lovers of folklore. The story is cute and amusing, but it also offers a peak into the Native American tradition of oral folklore. Best of all, the illustrations by S.D. Nelson are beautiful. Charismatic and colorful animals scamper across the pages as if they're about to come alive."—Goodreads

A prowling wildcat finds a surprise in an old dried-up buffalo skull. A group of mice are dancing the night away and not paying attention to the dangers around them. Does the wildcat spell doom for the mice, or will they escape to safety?

Dance in a Buffalo Skull is an American Indian tale of danger and survival on the Great Plains. 

More Praise:

"The art blends Lakota tradition and modern styles to match the tall tale and bring it to life."—The Midwest Book Review

[S. D. Nelson] "evokes a perfect combination of traditional prairie landscapes, the bright, wild, foot-stomping mice, and the eerie beast of the night."—True West Magazine

"Our son really likes Dance in a Buffalo Skull. He loves the illustrations . . . It has become one of his bedtime favorites."—Heather Mirman

"This book's appeal for children up to about third grade lies in the beauty of its illustrations. S.D. Nelson's vibrant illustrations magnify the impact of Zitkala-Sa's version of the story."—North Dakota History

"The beautiful illustrations are rich in color and detail and very engaging. The colorfully garbed mice and the bright yellow of the cat’s eyes fascinated my four-year-old daughter. She described the story as 'funny' and 'exciting.'"—LibraryThing

"I enjoyed the light touch that the author and illustrator of this book took in conveying the feeling of the prairie. It is first and foremost a beautiful picture book that just happens to provide a window into a unique culture. I also appreciated the author’s choice of words that might be new to a young reader or listener such as 'frolic,' 'nigh,' 'stealthy' and 'venison.' A helpful glossary at the back of the book defines these terms for the reader."—LibraryThing

"The first thing I noticed when I got the book was how beautiful the cover is. It just makes you want to open it and discover the story within. The introduction to the book gives parents a great understanding of the history behind the story. If you are the type of parent who wants to expose your child to different cultures, this book is an easy and fun way to introduce them to the Sioux Indian Oral Tradition. The imagery in the story as well as the beautiful artwork make this story a delight to both the eyes and the imagination. The vocabulary of the story is a bit more challenging than is found in your typical children's book, but there is a glossary to help with those words, for the older children enjoying the story. I don't personally have children, although I've always loved reading aloud to them. I lent my copy of this book to a good friend so she could 'test' it on a real child. Her son, 4yrs old, loved the story and asked for it to be read multiple times. She said he normally doesn't do that. So not only is this book a delight for an adult to read, it is a delight for a child to listen to."—LibraryThing

"A great little book! My kids and I enjoyed it very much."—LibraryThing

About the Author


About the Illustrator