The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush


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In spring, the hills and meadows of Texas and Wyoming are ablaze with the reds, oranges, and yellows of the Indian Paintbrush. How this striking plant received its name is told in an old Indian legend.

Many years ago, when the People traveled the Plains, a young Indian boy had a Dream-Vision in which it was revealed that one day he would create a painting that was as pure as the colors of the evening sky at sunset. The boy grew up to become the painter of the tribe, but although he found a pure white buckskin for a canvas and made paints from the brightest flowers and the reddest berries, he could not capture the sunset.

How the young Indian artist finally fulfills his Dream-Vision is lovingly told and illustrated by Tomie dePaola, in words and pictures that capture the spirit and beauty of this dramatic legend.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780698113602
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 04/16/1996
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 73,563
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.14(d)
Lexile: AD840L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California.

It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books.

He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal for his "continued distinguished contribution," and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration.

Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.

Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.

- He has been published for over 30 years.
- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.
- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.
- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.

Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition forhis books in the children's book world, including:

- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association
- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association
- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution
- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal
- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.


Connecticut and New Hampshire

Date of Birth:

September 15, 1935

Place of Birth:

Meriden, CT

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The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
kikione on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful story about a young Indian boy who is different from the other young men of his tribe. He has a different talent and pursues that talent. When the great spirits tell him what to do, he follows their directions and becomes important in the tribe for recording all of their great events. He also brings the Indian Paintbrush to the land when he follows their directions in looking for the perfect colors to paint the sunset. This is a good way to introduce students to tolerance and the celebration of diversity. It also lends itself to discussion about following your dreams and utilizing your talents.
JLockwood12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this book because it taught about perseverance and the importance of keeping up on what you believe in.
jlowens4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I reall enjoyed reading the book, "The Legen of the Indian Paintbrush." I would read this book to second or third grade. I would also read this book if I ever had a lesson on indians. The book is a about a little indian boy who never grew big enough to be a warrior. He longed to be able to go on the hunts and shoot his bow but he never did. The little boy had a different gift to bring his tribe. He could paint beautifully. The young boy would paint pictures of great hunts, of great deeds, and of great dream visions. Though he made all these wonderful paintings he still longed to fit in. Until one day, he painted a beautiful picture of a sunset. The tribe then named him He-WHo-Brought-the-Sunset-to-the-Earth. After this the little indian loved to paint, and he knew that this was his manhood and place in the tribe. I think that this book is a wonderful book to teach children you do not always have to do what everyone else is doing. Just like the little indian he did not need to be a warrior to be a important person to his tribe. I think that many children would love this book.
Devine1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary:Little Gopher, a Plain Indians boy feels out of place because he is smaller than the other children in the tribe and did not fit in with the other boys of the tribe. He speaks with the Shaman of the tribe who tells him he will not be a warrior but will be remembered for different things.Little Gopher then has a Dream Vision that tells him he will be a paint pictures of the deeds of the warriors and the visions of the Shaman and he will be remembered forever with his tribe. In the vision he is showed how to use his painting tools to do so. He goes on to paint the great deeds of the warriors and the visions of the Shaman, and he wants to capture the sunset in a painting, but cannot make the colors of the sunset.He is again has another Dream Vision that tells him that he will find the colors of the sunset the next day. He awakens to go to the hill and finds paintbrushes of all the colors that he needed. He paints the sunset and leaves the paintbrushes there and they become flowers of bright colors that bloom every year. Little Gopher is remembered by his tribe as the ¿He who brought the sunset to the Earth¿.Personal Reaction:This was a good book to read during a Multicultural week or Native American week. It is a book about the legend of the paintbrush and shows how Native Americans have legends for things that they have used or things that were new to them and how they became. I liked the story, it wasn¿t too long had good, colorful pictures that depicted the plains Indians. Classroom Extension:1.Have Children paint their own sunsets on light brown paper that represents animal skin.2.Children can make small tepees out of construction paper, and toothpicks, have them paint their teepes. 3.Have children go outside and paint a outside scene.
emilee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book would be good for exemplifying that we are all good at different things
cassinolan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
About a boy who paints in his tribe and to help his village, sacrifices his prized possessions, his paint brushes, to help his tribe. The brushes turn into flowers that cover the landscape and help bring about a happy ending to the story.
tmarks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A folktale about a young boy who finds his place in the world through his paining.
sharmon05 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story is a good example of a legend. It is qualified as a legend because the story was passed sown by generation to generation, and there is a historical connection. The historical connection comes because the story tells the importance of art to their culture. However, there was no fact in the story. The setting in the story was good. The text gave a brief description, but the pictures truly helped the reader. The setting also fit the story and the suggested time period.
lleighton05 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Critique: Genre: Although this story is false, it tells the legend of how the Indian Paintbrush came to be. Like most legends, it is passed down from generation to generation and therefore, is eventually "retold" so that it can become a book. It connects with the history of the Wyoming State Flower, since it tells how it was formed. Setting: The setting of this story takes place in the plains, among teepees and during the time when Indians were living in North America. The setting is crucial because how the Indian paintbrush came to be could only happen during this time period, according to the story. It becomes the state flower for Wyoming and so would only occur in the plains of North America.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my most beloved stories from my childhood and I'm going to buy it not just for me but for my son as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Traditional: I like the book, The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush. I am interested in art, so this book defiantly appealed to me. This book is good to show children that not everyone is the same and that is okay. It shows children that everyone has their own special talent, you just have to find it and accept it. Tomie dePaola has been published for 40 years and has written and/or illustrated over 200 books, including 26 Fairmount Avenue, Strega Nona, and Meet the Barkers .Tomie dePaola and his work have been recognized with the Caldecott Honor Award, the Newbery Honor Award and the New Hampshire Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure. He lives in New London, New Hampshire with his new Airedale dog, Brontë. The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, is about a young Indian boy. He does not seem to fit in quite right with the other Indian boys. He is smaller and unable to keep up with them. However, he did have his own special talent¿he made toy warriors from different things and loved to decorate smooth stones with juices from berries. One day he gets a Dream-Vision. He is told about all the pictures he will paint and that the people will see them and remember them forever. The next day he made paintbrushes, paints, and collected skins of animals. He painted many pictures. Everyday he painted pictures. One evening he goes to the hillside and paints the sunset with colors from the ground. The little boy then becomes known as He-Who-Brought-the-Sunset-to-the-Earth. ¿Do not struggle, Little Gopher. Your path will not be the same as the others¿. This is the part of the book where the Wise Shaman is talking to the young boy about his talent. ¿But he never gave up trying, and every morning when he awoke he took out his brushes and his pots of paints and created the stories of the People with the tools he had¿. This is the part of the story where the Indian boy continues following the words from his Dream-Vision. DePaola, Tomie. The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush. New York: Scholastic, 1991. Grade Level: 1st