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C.J. Taylor
Montreal, Tundra Books, 1991. 24pp, cloth, $12.95
ISBN 0-88776-263-8. Available in French as Guerrier solitaire et le fantome. CIP

Grades 3 to 8/Ages 8 to 13

Reviewed by Patricia Fry.

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

This Arapaho legend provides insight into the values that the Arapaho felt their leaders should possess. Lone Warrior is tested for courage and perseverance before he becomes chief. Even more noteworthy than the story itself arc the brilliant full-colour paint­ings, one facing each page of text.

The legend begins with Lone Warrior leading a hunting party to the distant mountains. He injures his ankle and is forced to remain behind in a make-shift shelter. It is there that the ghost of his ancestor, portrayed as a skeleton wrapped in a red cloak, subjects Lone Warrior to a series of tests. He faces pain, cold and hunger, yet he perse­veres.

There is much incidental knowledge to be gained about the way of life portrayed in this legend, particularly the harmony between humans and nature. One particularly poignant scene occurs when Lone Warrior, crippled with his injured ankle, manages to kill a buffalo with three arrows. He crawls across the snow to the dead animal and then, kneeling beside it, he looks up to the sky and prays.

Taylor is an artist who supports her family by selling her paintings of native scenes. At an exhibit of her work at the Native Arts Festival in Montreal, she was invited to create a book. That idea translated into her first book, an Abenaki legend, entitled How Two-Feather Was Saved from Loneliness.

This book, her second, features the same colourful and evocative paintings. At the end of the book, there is factual information on the Arapaho.

Highly recommended.

Patricia Fry, Port Credit, Ont.
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