Title: Moonstruck- The Seasons of The Sioux
(as you can see the book image here is called “Moonstick instead of Moonstruck. Amazon did not show me the book called Moonstruck. I noticed that it was a different edition published in the year 2000 instead of the year 1997 which I had from the library.)
Author/Illustrator: Eve Bunting/ John Sanford
Published by: Joanna Cutler Books/ imprint of Harper Collins Publishers 1997/ fiction
Appropriate for Ages: 7 thru 11/ grades three thru grades five
Themes: , Indians of North America, CONCEPTS, CULTURE, Diversity, EDUCATIONAL, FAMILY, HISTORY, NATURE, RELATIONSHIPS, SEASONS, TRADITIONS, TRUE FICTION (Fiction Based On True Stories)
Summary: A young Dakota Indian boy describes the changes that come in nature and in the life of his people with each new moon of the Sioux year.
Resources: Ask kids if their grandfathers had a certain way of telling the different seasons apart. If they were farmers for instance the grandfathers would tell it in terms of crops he planted or harvested. Ask children if their grandparents had different traditions than the ones they celebrate now. Lead a discussion about American Indians and determine how much or how little is known about them and then build on that knowledge. Lead a discussion about oral or written histories and family stories and passing on family traditions.
A pdf explaining teacher guide for the Lakota Indians and what “Winter Counts” are, is here:
A PDF of how to do winter counts of all kinds is here.
First three Sentences: When the snow of winter disappears my father cuts a moon-counting stick that he keeps in our tipi. At the rising of the first moon he makes a notch in it. “A beginning for the young buffalo,” he says. “And for us.”
Why I love it: It’s a true faction or true fiction story of the Sioux Indians and I love everything Native American. This book describes the keeping of time passing by counting the 13 moons. The Sioux year starts in spring when hard winter is over. They name the moons for the signs of nature around them, their own activities, or the available food. “One way to “number the moons” was to make nicks in a moon-counting stick, which was cut and kept for that purpose.” The illustrations of this book were researched by John Sanford at the museums of Sioux Indians in Dakota. They are true to life and in earth tones. You get the sense as the reader of being in the story as a young boy trying to grow up to be like his father. At the end of the book his brother is a barber and he is a grandfather trying to pass on the traditions of moon-counting stick to his grandson.
Please join other bloggers in Perfect Picture Book Friday over at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site to see other fun books.
Do YOU think you would like this book? Why?