C.J. Taylor,
The Ghost & Lone Warrior
(Tundra, 1991)

The Ghost & Lone Warrior is an Arapaho legend. C.J. Taylor based this retelling of the legend upon the work of D. Brown, "The Lame Warrior & the Skeleton."

This story takes us back to the days before horses on the Plains. Lone Warrior and his hunting party are traveling in search of buffalo when he slips on a river rock and injures his ankle. His hunting party leaves him while they continue the hunt. But he runs out of food and a blizzard begins. He must remain awake to put wood on the fire or he will freeze.

What an ordeal! It seems to get a little better, but a skeleton appears. Is there no end to what this poor hunter must endure?

I can compare this version to Brown's and assure you that this one is a much better story. This one brings the hero to life with more emotion and feeling and stirs both within the reader. Brown's story does not elicit that strong reader response.

The final page provides information about the Arapaho Nation, their region, lifestyle and current information.

Taylor's artwork is breathtaking. The oil paintings are certain to mesmerize almost any child. Bright colors and extensive use of space combine with intricate details to provide hours of viewing pleasure and plenty of topics for discussion. Her artwork is created for, and totally supports, the scenes in the story being told.

Taylor, a Mohawk, is an artist and children's author who works to bring native culture and history to the children's literature genre. She travels extensively through North America, has organized several Native art exhibitions, and has artwork in many private collections. Amazingly, she is a self-taught artist.

The Ghost & Lone Warrior is a beautiful "happily-ever-after" type of story that reflects the qualities of a true hero. It teaches children to never give up, remember to pray and always give thanks. It is a splendid story!

book review by
Alicia Karen Elkins

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