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Tatanka and the Lakota People

A Creation Story

Tatanka and the Lakota People


$9.95, Paperback
ISBN: 9780982274903

Aesop Accolade, Children's Folklore Section of the American Folklore Society, 2007
Spur Award, Storyteller category, Western Writers of America
Silver IPPY, Juvenile/Teen/Young Adult Multicultural Non-fiction, Independent Publisher  
Gold Medal, Multicultural Non-fiction, Moonbeam Children's Book Awards
Award-Winner, Children's Non-fiction, National Best Books Awards, 2007

“A beautiful rendering of story and illustration that needs to be in every library interested in building the diversity of their collection.”—Kirkus Reviews

"A beautifully illustrated and well-documented picture book that will bring joy to many children and help them understand more about the Lakota people."—Brian W. Sturm (Chair) 2007 Aesop Award Committee

After the Great Spirits created the world, Tatanka, the holy man, turned himself into a buffalo and sacrificed his powers to help the Lakota people survive. With all that Tatanka provided, the Lakotas adapted to the world around them and prospered.

Oglala Lakota artist Donald F. Montileaux's beautiful paintings offer dramatic colors and forms to this story of beginnings.

The book is written in both English and Lakota. It includes an introduction and a concluding note by Donald F. Montileaux that discusses his illustrations and their connection with traditional buffalo-hide paintings.

More Praise:

“The illustrations are characterized by clear vibrant colors and characters that are portrayed in dramatic poses and facial expressions.”—Kirkus Reviews

"Children will enjoy [Montileaux's] big, bright art of people and animals. Montileaux's] respect and love for the [Lakota] culture is evident on every page."—South Dakota Magazine

“The striking and symbolic color paintings add a vivid dimension to the tale. A profound tale, presented with great respect for Lakota culture.”—The Midwest Book Review

"Montileaux's illustrations are simple but striking, and are the perfect accompaniment to the words, which are effectively paired in both languages side-by-side."—Deadwood Magazine

"This is a good choice for libraries seeking folk material."—School Library Journal

"This book's honest and subtle way of portraying the folklore and art of the Lakota people is refreshing."—2007 Aesop Award Committee

"This picture book would work well with older children who can appreciate the paradoxical simplicity of its style and complexity of its mythic and legendary origins."—2007 Aesop Award Committee

"Absolutely authentic."—North Dakota Quarterly

"Donald Montileaux, a well-known and honored Lakota artist, provided the illustrations to go with the story. Montileaux's illustrations are gentle, appealing, and evocative of Lakota traditional culture."—North Dakota History


About the Illustrator

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