Paul Goble and Native American Folklore

Meadville Public Library is proud to have a collection of children’s books by Paul Goble to share with you in honor of his birthday this week!

Author Paul Goble was born in England, September 27th, 1933. His parents were artistically gifted – his father built harpsichords and his mother was a professional musician. Perhaps the artistic nurturing of Paul’s parents led him into the field of art and story telling. He attended the Central School of Art in London and later became a teacher, furniture designer and author/illustrator. In the summer of 1960 he visited the Sioux and Crow reservations in South Dakota. Goble became an adopted member of Yakima and Sioux tribes as was given the name Wakinyan Chikala, translated as Little Thunder. (Publishers Weekly, 1/10/2017) In 1977, Paul, his wife and children moved to Black Hills and he became the artist in residence at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

He published more than 30 books over his career including one of the most notable titles, The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses. The book won him the Caldecott Medal in 1979. This book tells the story of a young Indian girl who cares for the horses of her tribe. When the herd is scared off the girl rides along with them and goes missing from her tribe for over a year. Eventually she is caught and brought home but misses the horses so much that she becomes ill. She returns to visit the horses at their grazing ground once a year and from this point the folktale reveals the depth and mystical properties of this Plains Indian story. The illustrations follow a folktale style with opaque colors and Native American symbology and mythology. Each illustration lends realism and credibility to Paul’s retelling of the folktale. Children of many ages will enjoy this book from years 7 and up.

Paul Goble books in our collection:

The Sound of Flutes and other Indian Legends – 1976

Star Boy – 1983

Her Seven Brothers – 1988

Iktomi and the Boulder – 1988

Iktomi and the Berries – 1989

Love Flute – 1992

Iktomi and the Ducks: A Plains Indian Story – 1990

Iktomi and the Buffalo Skull: A Plains Indian Story – 1991

Iktomi and the Buzzard: A Plains Indian Story – 1994

The Legend of the White Buffalo Woman – 1998

Mystic Horses – 2003

Custer’s Last Battle: Red Hawk’s Account of the Battle of the Little Big Horn – 2013

Some other fictional and non-fiction books about Native Americans in our collection

Crazy Horse’s Vision – by Joseph Bruchac

The Legend of the Cape May Diamond – by Trinka Hakes Noble

The Sign of the Beaver – by Elizabeth George Spear

The Indian in the Cupboard – by Lynne Reid Banks

Indian No More – by Charlene Willing McManis

Native American History for Kids – by Karen Bush Gibson

Keepers of the earth : native American stories and environmental activities for children – by Michael J. Cudato

Atlas of Indians of North America – by Gilbert Legay

…. and many more!