Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie…

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush

by Tomie dePaola

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
2,020713,315 (4.11)None



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
Its excellent illustrations and simpler vocabulary make the text appropriate to utilize in a second grade classroom. The story’s style and language also allows the reader to feel like the picture book tells a true Native American myth that has been passed down generation by generation. The language makes the book seem very believable and like an elderly Native American man is telling a story close to the hearts of the tribe. The reader feels very connected to the plot because of the mood that the author creates. The students may feel like they are hearing the old tale from an elderly Native American in person and feel the intensity and importance of the story. The high-quality writing of the book makes the story a great tool to utilize to discuss culture and society, and more specifically, the Native American culture.
I would utilize this book in a second-grade classroom because the illustrations explain the events in the plot magnifciantly. This allows beginning readers to have a visual of the story’s message, which will also increase their comprehension abilities. Students in second grade are also studying American history and how the country began. I would first read this text to the class, and then utilize the book in a choral reading. I would do this to assist students in mastering the vocabulary and give them the reading confidence that is necessary to read the entire picture book.
  jthodesen01 | Apr 2, 2017 |
This book describes how in spring, the hills and meadows of Texas and Wyoming are ablaze with the reds, oranges, and yellows of the Indian Paintbrush. The book illustrates how many years ago, when the People traveled the Plains. The main character is a young Indian boy had a Dream in which it was revealed that one day he would create a painting that was as pure as the colors of the evening sky at sunset. The boy grew up to become the painter of the tribe.
  hildaalcaraz | Mar 13, 2017 |
This book is an Indian folktale about the Indian paintbrush flower. It is about an Indian boy who was called Little Gopher, who was smaller than the children in his tribe. He did not keep up with the other children very well. You can feel sympathy for him as you read this book. He had a gift of his own, he was very artistic with paint. He wanted to paint the setting sun exactly as the colors were. A Dream Vision came to him that explained that he should not give up and that he would become great among his people. The boy painted on buckskins with colors that he got from crushing flowers and berries. He made his own paintbrushes. He painted pictures that told stories of his people and the way they lived. He did this so people would always remember. One night as the sun set he went on the hill and found paintbrushes with paint colors of the exact colors of the sunset. He painted the sunset and left the brushes there. The hill remained vivid colors and every Spring from then on the meadows bloomed with vivid colors. You could expand by painting Indian paintbrushes. If you could find some at the right time of the year, you could bring them into the class for the students to feel and look at. You could make your own paint colors by crushing fruits and flowers. ( )
  AmandaMcClure | Jan 10, 2017 |
This book is a wonderful children's book that helps students understand the life of Native Americans, their cultures, legends, and customs. The book is filled with intriguing and new vocabulary that can be taught to students, and it is also filled with captivating illustrations. This is a great book to incorporate into any classroom library! ( )
  hannahlowe | Sep 23, 2016 |
Little Gopher and Indian Boy, learns to paint with the brilliance of the evening sky and becomes known as He-Who-Brought-the-Sunset-to-the-Earth. This is a story about the beautiful flower, the Indian Paintbrush.
  wichitafriendsschool | Mar 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
In this adaptation of the legend of the Indian Paintbrush flower… The story follows Little Gopher, a Native boy (no tribe indicated)… [whose] paint colors appear dull and dark. One night he hears a voice that tells him to go where he watches the evening sun, and on the ground he will find what he needs. There he is surrounded by brushes filled with paint, each one a color of the sunset. The brushes take root and are known today as Indian Paintbrush flowers. The illustrations do not reflect Plains material culture.

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tomie dePaolaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gabriel, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description

Little Gopher is upset in the beginning of the story because he is smaller then the other children and he can not keep up with their strength. When he grows a bit older, he goes to the hills alone to think about becoming a man. This is where the Dream-Vision occurs. The young Indian Maiden and the old grandfather in the clouds gave Little Gopher a rolled-up animal skin, a brush made of fine animal hairs, and pots of paints. They told him to paint pictures of deeds of warriors, visions of the shaman, and a picture pure as the colors in the evening sky. Little Gopher gathered flowers and berries to make his paints, and painted pictures of great hunts and great deeds. He struggled with finding the colors of the sunset. He often looked at the colors of the sky and did not give up on this task. One night he heard voices in the sky telling him to go to the hillside where he sees the sun set and he will find what he needs. The next evening, in this place Little Gopher found brushes filled with paint the colors of the sunset on the ground all around him. Little Gopher finally painted a picture pure as the colors in the evening sky. He left his brushes on the ground and returned to the village. The next morning, the hillside was covered with plants of brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows. The brushes had taken root and multiplied. Now every spring the ground is covered with these beautiful plants and Little Gopher is praised for being the person who brought the sunset to the earth.

The Native American culture is best described through its use of traditional literature. Much understanding of their ways and beliefs can be found through the study of their legends. Although stories of Native American warrior’s brutality, war, and fighting do exist, these people were mostly about peace with others and kindness toward our earth. “The Legend of the Indain Paintbrush” is a beautiful, well-written example of how the Native Americans believe the people, earth, and sky are all connected. The beginning of the story also reflects the true value that each tribe places upon each individual person in that tribe. dePaola writes, “The wise shaman of the tribe understood that Little Gopher had a gift that was special.” The Native Americans believe that each person, animal, plant, etc. has a purpose and can be used to benefit the well-being of others.

This story along with other De Paola stories would be excellent for a genre study in the classroom. It is easy to pick out elements of a legend and it would be fun to see kids compare these legends.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Little Gopher follows his destiny, as revealed in a Dream-Vision, of becoming an artist for his people and eventually is able to bring the colors of the sunset down to the earth.

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
70 avail.
11 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (4.11)
1.5 1
2 2
2.5 1
3 18
3.5 8
4 45
4.5 3
5 41

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,265,559 books! | Top bar: Always visible