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Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott
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Arrow to the Sun (original 1974; edition 1977)

by Gerald McDermott

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
890629,932 (3.72)4
mccabe1030's review
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 |
All member reviews
Showing 1-25 of 62 (next | show all)
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 |
Summary:
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 |
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 |
The artwork is relevant to the culture. The tones are all very earthy with geometric shapes native to the culture. I love the depiction of the boy becoming an arrow.
  kdirks1 | Jun 9, 2012 |
extremely colorful illustrations, simple text, description of author and art at the end, story of boy in search of his father but first has to prove himself, must be brave in life
  nicole.ansara | Mar 11, 2012 |
My favorite thing about the myth was the illustrations. The author chose to provide authentic pictures that capture the unique qualities of Pueblo art. The myth reflects how the Pueblo Indian people highly regard and respect for the sun being the source of life. Obviously, in the Pueblo Indian region, the sun is a major part of life and this myth is in appreciation of it. The illustrations are completely capturing the Pueblo style of art. However, I was not as much of a fan of the writing. There seemed to be little character development and love stories where the characters are relatable. ( )
  McKennaMiller | Jan 22, 2012 |
A coming of age tale about a boy who never knew his father. He goes on a search to meet him, and finds out that his father is the sun! He is turned into an arrow and shot up to the sun, where he undergoes three trials. He is then sent on a mission by his father to spread the sun's energy among man.
  kanders2 | Dec 8, 2011 |
A Caldecott Medal Book. Beautiful rendition of a Native American creation story. Bold and colorful. For pre-schoolers on up.
  anacryan | Dec 4, 2011 |
I have always had mixed feelings about this book. The story was great. The art is something that always bugs me. I played the original Atari a lot when I was growing up and the pictures in this book look very similar to the early graphics that it used. So, it made me feel nostalgic, but it also makes me feel like this art style is very "dated". Overall it is a very entertaining book.
  jmcneal | Nov 8, 2011 |
Awards book received: Caldecott Medal
Appropriate Grade Level: Grade 1 – Grade 6
Summary:
This book tells the story of a boy who is mocked and teased because he does not know who is father is. He travels the world in search of his father, the God of Sun. He finds his father, but he must prove himself that he is worthy and brave. He is given four ceremonial challenges:
The Kiva of Lions
The Kiva of Snakes
The Kiva of Bees
The Kiva of Lightning.
He passes through all four chambers and return to Earth where they celebrate his return. The book addresses the issue of exploration and the Twin Towers.
Uses in classroom:
• Individual reading
• To teach a lesson about the different types of families.
• Show the children during story time.
• Show the pictures and have students write what they think is happening. ( )
  nwallace77 | Sep 25, 2011 |
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