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The Mud Pony by Caron Lee Cohen

The Mud Pony

by Caron Lee Cohen, Shonto Begay (Illustrator), Caron Cohen

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A poor young Pawnee boy, longing to have a horse of his own, shapes one out of the mud he finds along the creek, and is surprised to discover - one terrible day when he is left behind by his tribe - that it has come to life! Now, guided by his 'mud pony,' who speaks to him in his dreams, and is a gift from Mother Earth, the boy catches up to his people, going on to do great things, as a warrior and a chief.

Taken from the work of George A. Dorsey, a late 19th and early 20th-century ethnographer, this tale is described as an "ancient boy-hero tale" of the Skidi band of the Pawnee. The illustrations by Navajo artist Shonto Begay - whose work can also be found in Ma'ii and Cousin Horned Toad: A Traditional Navajo Story and The Magic Of Spider Woman - are just lovely, perfectly capturing the dreamlike quality of the boy's extraordinary experiences with his 'mud pony.' Recommended to all young readers who enjoy folktales, or love horses, and to all fans of Shonto Begay's artwork! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 25, 2013 |
A mud pony becomes real in this Native American tale. This story reveals the cultural concept of mother earth and the power the earth has. Pen and ink drawing with watercolor are used. Would be a good book to accompany a clay sculpture lesson. As well, this story could be taken outdoors in the garden to discuss in what ways we are connected to the earth, and what plants and such Native Americans hold sacred. ( )
  szierdt | Jun 3, 2011 |
This story is about a poor Indian boy that dreams of owning his own horse. He made one out of mud. He had a dream that the pony made of mud came to life. His family had to pack up and move with the tribe to find more buffalo. The boy was not around when they left but, the pony took him back to his family at their new location.
The pony told the boy it was Mother Earth.

I haven't ever wanted a horse this bad, but my children did. This book explains a little about the hard life of the Indians. This is a nice traditional Skidi Pawnee tale. I really think children can relate to the boy.

In the classroom, I would have the students to model clay into an animal that they would like to have. I can bake them. Then they would always remember the special animal they made themselves. They could also draw a picture and describe their animal. ( )
  csweat | Mar 23, 2010 |
I read this book as a kid but the artwork seemed different than I remember, still great though. This was a haert-warming story about Mother Nature and man. UNIT ON NATIVE AMERICANS OR FOLKTALES. SINCE THIS IS A PAWNEE INDIAN TALE WOULD BE GREAT FOR A UNIT ON SPECIFIC INDIAN GROUPS LIKE PLAINS INDIANS.
  coolman | Feb 26, 2009 |
A native american tale retold with gorgeous pictures, The Mud Pony was a favorite of mine growing up. The coming of age story of a boy and his pony figurine made of mud has followed me since childhood. I still talk about it today. This mystical legend is a must read! ( )
  Joles | Jun 4, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Caron Lee Cohenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Begay, ShontoIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Caron Cohenmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0590415263, Paperback)

A Native American legend about a young boy and his magical pony. "Splendidly illustrated . . . An excellent addition to folklore collections."--Kirkus Reviews. A Reading Rainbow Selection.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:39 -0400)

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A poor boy becomes a powerful leader when Mother Earth turns his mud pony into a real one, but after the pony turns back to mud, he must find his own strength.

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