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Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott

Arrow to the Sun (original 1974; edition 1977)

by Gerald McDermott

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,009708,457 (3.75)7
Hynes Library:
A Pueblo Indian tale of how a boy discovered he is the son for the sun who needs to pass four trials to prove who he is. ( )
  mccabe1030 | Jun 11, 2012 |
Showing 1-25 of 70 (next | show all)
This book has really great pictures, I read this to my niece who is seven and she absolutely loved the bright illustrations and the way they told the story. I think this book would be great to teach a social studies lesson on Mexican culture and the different folktales of different cultures. You could also use this in first or second grade to compare this to folktales from other cultures. ( )
  ddeely | Mar 28, 2016 |
I believe this book could be used in an upper elementary social studies or language arts classroom. After reading this book, students can further their understanding of the Pueblo Indians by studying the pueblo houses, regions, and adaptations. An extension I would use with this book would be to have students use modeling clay to construct their own pueblo houses, focusing on the materials, climate, and adaptations.This story could also be used to compare and contrast the similarities and differences between Native American folktales. Students can create their own Venn Diagrams and fill in the appropriate information.
  Emily.Clark | Mar 27, 2016 |
Summary: This is retelling of a famous Pueblo tale about the son of the Sun. The boy is shunned by the community and must prove himself to his father before claiming his true rights.

Reflection: The art in this book is true to the Pueblo style of art and adds cultural awareness to the story and to young readers. It is a good Hero's tale. ( )
  AlinaA | Mar 10, 2016 |
This book was about the Sun God who had a child with an Indian women. When the boy grows he endures the challenges presented to him from his father to prove his lineage. This book was very well written. The illustrations went along well, and in a simple fashion, with the text. One thing that can be noticed is that the boy carries the symbol of his father on his chest and through the whole story.
Genere: Folk-lore
1: Learning India folk-lore
2: looking for patterns in picture books
Media: Gouache and pen ( )
  Jazmyn96 | Feb 9, 2016 |
Arrow to the Sun tells the story of how the Lord of the Sun sent a spark of life to earth which produced a baby boy. The boy group up, but was teased because he did not have a father. After searching for his father, he is turned into an arrow and shot to the sun where he must pass through four stages to prove that he is his father's son. After passing the chambers, he is transformed and sent back to earth, where his return is celebrated

The illustrations were made using gouache and ink.

GENRE: Myth (tells a Pueblo Indian story of how the spirit of the Lord of the Sun came to earth)

- teaching students about Pueblo Indian and other Native American culture
- have students explore Native American artwork in addition to illustrations and try to create their own inspired by the style
  sso14 | Feb 7, 2016 |
I like this story, because the Boy, the main character, struggles at first but triumphs and is happy in the end. I love happy endings! The Boy ends up finding his father and learning that he is special, which I think is an important message children can grasp and relate to with this story. I also think older students would recognize and relate the characters of this story to the Christian belief of the Holy Trinity. The connections this story has to the Pueblo People is very interesting for its readers. Students would enjoy thinking through and researching the importance of the sun to the Pueblo Indians. Additionally, the illustrations in this book also reflect Pueblo art styles and are pleasingly bold.
  brynnschaal | Jan 16, 2016 |
6. The Pueblo Indian tale by Gerald McDermott is a variation of a Pueblo Indian myth which explains how the spirit if the Lord of the Sun was brought to the world of men. The overall message of this exquisite picture book is the endurance and persistence to finding an answer to a question without allowing obstacles to block your path. I liked this book for a few reasons. First, the story’s theme was meaningful because it taught persistence and inner strength can get you through any hardship. Though, the setting was dated back to the Pueblo Indian’s era, the plot is suspenseful. A son was dedicated in figuring out who his real father was, which in the end it was the Lord of the Sun, however the organization of the plot was engaging. Second, the story helps the reader to understand the different perspective of the Pueblo Indian time period. Additionally, the illustrations are created by bright, vibrant colors and symbolic type of shapes to resemble the traditions of Indian myths and tales. Third, the picture book creates mythical characters, but their point of views and perspectives are like human nature. For example, a son is looking to find his real father as his peers make fun of him for not knowing his true parent. I like how the book creates an accurate setting for the time period, but the overall big idea of the story can relate to readers experiences. ( )
  kacieforest | Apr 6, 2015 |
Origin story for the Pueblo people of the American Southwest, a boy searches to find his father and is sent through a series of rites of passage/challenges by the mighty sun lord. The boy draws strength from nature, is rewarded for his bravery and inspires all of his people as a hero, descended directly from the sun god/lord.
  lrubin75 | Oct 11, 2014 |
rrow to the Sun is an art lover's dream. The colors are vibrant, the geometric retelling of the story is bold and at times even humorous. I had mixed reactions when I read this book to my children: my son who tends to be less artistically inclined did not enjoy the art, but our four year old boy loved it. The myth is beautiful and inspiring and has all the magic and mystery wrapped in the art as well as the text. ( )
  aconant | Jun 6, 2014 |
This Pueblo Indian tale, tells a story about a boy, named the lord of the sun, who is in search of his father. The boy leaves his mother and towns people to go on a search and comes across a couple of people who ignore him when he asks them for help. When he reaches the arrow maker, the arrow maker lets him use an arrow to shot himself to the sun. Once on the sun, the boy find a man who he thinks is his father. The man instructs him to pass through the four chambers of ceremony. This includes Kiva of lion, Kiva of Serpents, the Kiva of bees and lastly the Kiva of Lightning. The boy successful passes through all four chambers a changed person and knows this man must be his father. Once he returns, the towns people celebrate by dancing.
  Shoshanabrmsn | May 29, 2014 |
Arrow to the Sun is an adapted book that was written from a myth of the Pueblo Indians about how the Lord of the Sun was brought to the world of the men (earth).
  jess_shalee | May 3, 2014 |
great images, colorful, simple, and powerful ( )
  mccandlessn | Apr 6, 2014 |
This traditional story of a boy searching for his father, who happens to be the sun was a fun quest showing the reader the older traditions of the Pueblo Indians like doing the Dance of Life and importance of the sun to them, which is the source of all life. The illustrations were specifically native American and really made the reader feel that they were reading a book made by the native American Indians. instead of the usual looking people or sun, they had a fun Pueblo Indian twist along with the colors that they used, which were mostly orange, yellow, brown, and black, until the very end. The journey that the boy went on to find his father was also very interesting because he had to become an arrow and then pass a series of tests in order to prove he was the sun's son. When he came back to the village he was celebrated because of his newfound power and this quest was very interesting for the reader and told in a great way. I thought that the illustrations throughout the book were the most important, and best, part to this story, even though the story and plot line were great too. Going on a journey and returning a hero is something ever child likes to read and this father and son relationship could be used as a parallel to any father and son pair in the real world. ( )
  ramber1 | Mar 21, 2014 |
This Pueblo Indian Tale focuses on a boy who is on a quest to find his father, the sun. To prove to his father that he was indeed his son, he had to pass through four ceremonial chambers. Upon proving his identity, the boy returns to earth where they celebrate in the dance of life.
  psuchilit14 | Feb 5, 2014 |
Lord of the Sun sent a the spark of life to the earth- a "fatherless" boy. He was mocked and searched for his father. Finding him after he was shot as an arrow to the Sun he had to prove himself by passing 4 tests. He returned to the earth as a (rainbow) to bring the spirit to the world of men. Celebration is called the Dance of Life.
  deannachambers | Jan 28, 2014 |
Caldecott winner, 1975
Pueblo Indian tale about a boy whose father is the son and the trials he undergoes to become the true son of the sun
  bp0128bd | Jan 24, 2014 |
This book is a traditional tale from the Pueblo Indians. This book is about a boys journey in search of his father. This tale addresses the aspect of rituals in different cultures (Pueblo Indians). Throughout this tale, there are traditional illustrations, accurately depicting the art of the Pueblo Indians.

This book can be used to introduce students to a different culture. It can also be used to study the forms of art used by different cultures. Students can study and practice different forms of traditional art. This book can also be used as inspiration for students to find traditional tales that represent their family. ( )
  Mr-Mays | Oct 20, 2013 |
This is story is about a boy who travels to the sun to find his father and has to go through a serious of obstacles to prove himself. Once he is successful he has to bring the spirit of the lord back to earth to share with his people. The artwork is much different then many stories children are familiar with, and will introduce a new type of story as well as a visual aspect children may not be accustom to.
  AlyssaScruggs | Oct 20, 2013 |
The book is a pueblo tale about a boy trying to find out who his father is. He goes to different people asking if they know where his father could be. The arrow maker knew who the father was, so he fitted the boy to his bow and flew it to the sun. When he arrive on the sun, the boy found out that his father was the sun lord.

Personal Reaction:
I really like the book because I am Native American and it teaches about my culture. The pictures in the book are interesting because they are made out of different shapes.

Classroom Extension ideas:
1. Introduce children to the Native American culture.
2. Have the children draw a picture using shapes like the book does. ( )
  Mandi20 | Sep 11, 2013 |
In my opinion, the illustrations are more interesting than this particular story. I've heard Native American stories that were a lot more "colorful," story-wise. ( )
  dukefan86 | May 29, 2013 |
Caldecott winner, 1975
Pueblo Indian tale about a boy whose father is the son and the trials he undergoes to become the true son of the sun
  Phill242 | May 6, 2013 |
1975 Caldecott Winner

I really enjoyed the illustrations in this book. ( )
  scote23 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Older story, not really impressed by the graphics or the story. The story was short and simple and could be used in a classroom with children to promote understanding and knowledge. ( )
  dlow | Feb 17, 2013 |
I thought that illustrations in the book were well done and made the reader concentrate on the story through the images. I think that the positive reflections of the images and the story line provide a insight to the culture of the Pueblo Indian culture. The images of the sun and the colors provide detail of the bright and symbolic ways of their culture. Overall I think that this book has wonderful illustrations and a storyline that is interesting for all readers.

The theme of this book is an introduction to the culture of the Pueblo Indians. It shows the struggles based on the culture norms and how one can be shunned based on differences. The purpose of this book is for introduction to the ways of tale telling and cultural importances of the indian tales. This tale helps to shed light on readers to the culture of indian tales.
  JackieL1 | Oct 9, 2012 |
A young Indian boy sets out to find his father. He must travel and ask many people about his father until he finds him. He comes across a man who gives him an arrow that allows the boy to travel to the sun where he finds his long lost father. I was very excited to read the book due to the fact that it was about the Native American culture, because some where down the line in my family we had Native Americans. After reading this story I was not all that impressed with it. I think what I didn't care for was the illustrationns, not the actual text. As an adult the illustrations for me were hard to follow and understand, I would guess that it would be a lot more diffuclt for a child to enjoy the drawings. I also did not like the fact that the illustrator only stuck to a couple of colors. ( )
  ccbell | Sep 11, 2012 |
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