Dance In a Buffalo Skull Zitkala-Sa, Illustrated by S.D. Nelson (South Dakota State Historical Society Press, $14.95), Hardcover.

Zitkala-Sa, Illustrated by S.D. Nelson
Zitkala-Sa, Illustrated by S.D. Nelson

Ages 8-12: As festive mice dance and feast inside an old buffalo skull, a wildcat stalks the unwitting jubilee. This story was told and retold as part of Lakota Sioux oral history to teach children to be alert for danger on the prairie. This edition is an English translation originally written by Sioux author Zitkala-Sa in 1901. The award-winning Sioux illustrator evokes a perfect combination of traditional prairie landscapes, the bright, wild, foot-stomping mice and the eerie beast of the night. My favorite image is of  the mice dancing inside the skull: “In a ring around the fire hopped the mice, each bouncing hard on his two hind feet.”

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