Perfect Picture Book Friday / Moonstruck- The Seasons of The Sioux

Moonstick- seasons of the SiouxTitle: 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?

English: Group of Sioux Indians "Spotted ...

English: Group of Sioux Indians “Spotted Tail” (photo c. 1875) Standing: Joe Merrivale; Young Spotted Tail; Antoine Janis; Seated: Touch-the-Clouds; Little Big Man; Black Cool; last two are rapoves[?] identified by George E. Hyde 4229 Dangler[?] St. Omaha, Neb. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sioux Indians. Two fine types of a dying race,...

Sioux Indians. Two fine types of a dying race, by Underwood & Underwood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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33 Responses to Perfect Picture Book Friday / Moonstruck- The Seasons of The Sioux

  1. This looks like a great book Clar. We’ll have to check it out and see if Enzo would like it. The age level might be above his interest level right now.

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  2. Linda Sittig says:

    Love your choices, Clar!

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  3. This is a winner! I love Native American stories. It teaches kids how early cultures kept time. Great historical fiction pick.

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  4. This looks like a really great read. I’m a bit confused about the title. Can you clarify?

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Yes, it is confusing.
      The title as in the image is from a more recent edition in 2000. And the book I had from the library who’s title was Moonstruck is the edition of 1997. So the publisher changed the title to Moonstick to sell more copies.

      I hope that helps. Thanks so much for the comment and question. 🙂

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  5. I love books based on other cultures. You’ve shared yet another good one, Clar!

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  6. Such a fascinating story,Clar, and the title also ntrigued me. And the idea of pdf’s that explain the Winter Counts is very cool. Now pinned to my Book Reviews (kids to YA) on Pinterest.

    Books for Kids – Skype School Visits
    http://www.margotfinke.com

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  7. Darlene says:

    I would like this book a lot. I am doing quite a bit of research in this area as I plan to include some First Nation’s culutre in my next Amanda travel/adventure book. The Sioux did live in southern Alberta as well but the main tribes were from the Blackfoot Nation. I have noticed some similarities in the two cultures in my research. I will check this book out. I feel that children in North America should learn more about the original inhabitants.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      I agree, Darlene.

      Kids love knowing about Native Americans and learning about them is fun and easy. I”m particularly excited to learn you are doing research on them and plan to use it for your next book. I can’t wait to read it. 🙂

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  8. This books looks like a wonderful way to teach children about Native American cultures. I just found myself explaining what a teepee was to a five-year-old, which surprised me. I didn’t realize children knew so little about Native Americans.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Yes, I guess the push to teach as much math and science has pushed the local and national history out of the way. As a kid myself I was taught Virginia history every other year all through school till I hated it. But now I love learning about the wild west and Indians etc. 🙂

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  9. The cover is pretty! I like the “moon counting” stick! 😀

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  10. The cover illo looks awesome!

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  11. What an interesting book. It’s puzzling why they would change the title. But the story sounds excellent. My buddy Walker keeps moonsticks around the house and makes notches in them regularly. He always seems to be on a different life plane than the rest of us so I don’t know for sure what he’s keeping track of.

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  12. love your choice of book. Very interesting!

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  13. Smile, Clara, I took a peek at your blog . . . and left you this comment! LOL

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  14. I didn’t know about “winter counts”. Very interesting, and your resources are wonderful!

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  15. I’m not familiar with this book, Clar, but it looks wonderful on so many levels! Thanks so much for sharing it! 🙂

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  16. Pingback: Perfect Picture Book Friday/ Please Bury Me in the Library | Clarbojahn's Blog

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