McDermott, Gerald. Arrow to the Sun. New York: Puffin Books, 1974.
I know this is late, but Happy July 4th! Yesterday was the birthday of our nation. We are fortunate to live in a country with a diverse population. Our varied backgrounds, ancestry, and stories combine to create a rich narrative for all of us.
The book I offer today, Arrow to the Sun is based on a Pueblo Indian tale. According to the synopsis, “it is a retelling of how the Spirit of the Lord was brought the world of men”.
This is an exciting tale. If I were a better storyteller, I would learn to tell this story. It would be a great one to share around a campfire. This book is a visual treat as well. It has bright colors and stylized drawings based on the Pueblo Indian’s mythology. I have enjoyed following the story with my eyes as well as my ears.
The Lord of the Sun sends his spark to the earth to a young Pueblo Indian maiden. The Boy is born. He is rejected by his peers as his father is unknown. He leaves home to seek his father. A wise Arrow Maker recognizes the Boy and sees his connection to the Lord of the Son. He offers his help and makes the boy into an arrow and shoots him to the sun. The Boy meets the Lord of the Sun but must prove himself. Find a copy of this book to read to a young friend or even for yourself.
McDermott’s illustrations are dominated by bright, stylized forms, which often draw from indigenous art and highlight his fascination with the origins of stories!¹
I agree with this assessment of his work! Here are some other interesting facts about this author.
- This author was a reader and artist from a young age.
- He had an avid interest in world mythologies.
- He was a film maker before he became an author. He made some of his films into books.
- He won the Caldecott Award for Arrow to the Sun in 1975. He also holds Caldecott Honors for Anansi the Spider (1973) and Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest (1994).
Here are some websites where you can discover more about this author.