The Man Who Dreamed of Elk-Dogs
Written and Illustrated by Paul Goble
A lively collection of stories that celebrate the connectedness of life. Native Americans respect this connectedness. These are stories in which humans struggle with huge problems, often life threatening ones, and they receive help from a special “something” unseen or unexplainable. Sometimes animals talk to the person or sometimes a message comes in a dream. In the title story from the Blackfoot tribe, a man dreams of finding horses which ultimately will make life easier for his people. He doesn’t know what to call these creatures that are as large as elk and as friendly as dogs. Paul Goble includes notes with each story that express his thoughts about the story or sheds light on the research reflected in his illustrations, just as a storyteller would in a telling session. One story is about a man who lets mosquitoes feed on him and from this he attains great wisdom. Often stories reflect this theme that surrender to a higher power can result in great good. There are also stories of great love and the feeling that love never dies. Because the collection is a reflection of Paul Goble and his life’s work, these stories provide a personal connection to him.
These lyrical stories are meant to be heard. During a unit on Native Americans, these little stories could be a good two to three minute class read aloud. Each one deserves some thought time because each is filled with wisdom. The reading level is easy enough that teams of fifth graders could each take a story a make a narrated slide show as a literacy activity, illustrated with Goble’s signature images and/or supplementing with photographs or Native American art.
- TITLE: The Man Who Dreamed of Elk-Dogs and other stories from the Tipi
- AUTHOR: Paul Goble
- ILLUSTRATOR: Paul Goble
- PUBLISHER: Wisdom Tales, 2012
- REVIEWER: Risa Brown
- EDITION: Hardcover, 48 p.
- ISBN: 978-1-937786-00-7
- LEXILE: 930