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21. The Last Black Robe of Indiana
22. Coyote in Love With a Star: Tales

21. The Last Black Robe of Indiana and the Potawatomi Trail of Death
by John William McMullen
Kindle Edition: Pages (2006-12-16)
list price: US$5.99
Asin: B0016XR1KC
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Editorial Review

Product Description
From the author of Roman: Unparalleled Outrage comes the true story of French attorney-turned missionary priest, Benjamin Petit, and his mission to the Diocese of Vincennes, Indiana. Under the urging of Bishop Simon Brute, Petit joined the northern Indiana Potawatomi tribes in 1837, a year before their forced removal west. McMullen retells the incredible journey of Petit, who traveled with the Potawatomi and became part of their story.

“Of all the names connected with this crime, there is one, Father Benjamin Petit, the Christian martyr, which stands like a star in the firmament, growing brighter and it will shine on through ages to come." â€"Benjamin Stuart

... Read more

22. Coyote in Love With a Star: Tales of the People
by Marty Kreipe De Montano
Hardcover: 30 Pages (1998-06-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0789201623
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Coyote fascination with a star all begins when he moves to New York City to pursue a job and search for a special friend. His success with the job doesn't save him from loneliness, though, so he escapes the crowds to go to the tower top to enjoy the quiet of the night skies. 26 illustrations, 19 in color. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good retelling of a traditional story
I picked up this book because it was recommended on Oyate. (Google for it.) My primary purpose in choosing this book, though, has nothing to do with the fact that it's a retelling of a Potawatomi story, though that's nice and I'm actually going to talk about it in a minute. I just picked it because it takes place in NYC and there aren't very many picture books that show the city I live in.

First things first, let's talk about the story. The barebones of the story are that Coyote goes up to the top of the WTC (I'm sure that originally he went up to the top of something else tall, but this is a retelling!) and falls in love with a star. This is a bit unbelievable, as everybody knows you can't see stars in Manhattan, but let's run with it. He begs the start to dance with him, and she finally caves... but when he sees how much higher he is than he was he frantically begs to be let down. So she lets go, and he lands and makes a huge lake (in this story it's the Reservoir at Central Park).

The story is simple enough for kids to get it easily, and the pictures walk that fine line between comic and sympathetic. It really all works together nicely, except for the part about seeing stars in Manhattan, but that's presumably original, and what can you do?

Now, I don't know about you, but I always feel slightly awkward when reading stories that purportedly are "traditional" to one group or another that I don't happen to belong to. I don't know if these stories are traditional or not! What if I'm really reading something written by another white American like me who just made it up whole cloth and doesn't know what they're talking about? What if I'm accidentally reinforcing inaccurate or harmful stereotypes because this story is NOTHING AT ALL like what that group ever has said or done, or says or does now? I want to expose my nieces to this whole wide world of diverse cultures, but I don't want to do it wrong - I'd almost rather not bother than to expose them to lies and misunderstandings about other people.

But luckily, this book happens to have been written and illustrated by two actual Potawatomi people. This doesn't guarantee quality (though the quality happens to be there), but it does mean that we're a lot less likely to get misconceptions about Potawatomi life/legends.

Also, this story is a retelling, placed in modern NYC. Fairy tales are usually set in the past, but when it comes to the European "canon" of fairy tales it's very easy to find retellings in any form you like - including dozens upon dozens set in the modern day. When it comes to the traditional stories of other ethnic groups... not so much. Somehow, those stories in books always seem static and unchanged, always set sometime in the distant past. If this is the only time kids hear about this or that group of people, in unchanged stories set long ago, they might easily get the idea that those people *no longer exist*. (I do, in fact, know people who grew up with the assumption that Native Americans all conveniently died a few hundred years ago!) Setting this story in a modern city not only makes it easier for kids to relate to it, it also helps prevent them from thinking the people who told this story are all dead now - they can't be, because this is a city!

Of course, maybe you're not like me. Maybe you don't overthink every thing you do :) In that case, all you need to know that this is a sweet and funny story about Coyote, a star, and New York City. Go buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Trickster Goes to Manhattan
Marty Kreipe de Montano has modernized one of the classic characters found in the oral tradition of many Native American cultures.

In this story, Coyote leaves the Potawatomi reservation and heads for the Big Apple, where he gets a job as Rodent Control Officer in the World Trade Center.But he never really gets used to living in Manhattan, with its noise and crowded streets.Homesick, he finds comfort in looking at the stars.One is so beautiful, he falls in love with her.They dance together in the sky.But he gets cold and lonely and begs the star to let him go.And so she does:for four days and nights, he tumbles to earth, where he lands in the middle of Central Park, creating what is now the reservoir.Now, when you hear the coyotes howling at night, know that they are hollering at the star which dropped their ancestor.

The charming illustrations are done by Tom Coffin.The author has also included several pages of information about the Potawatomi people (both she and Coffin are members of the Prairie Band Potawatomi).She also includes information on Coyote as trickster-hero.The story line of this book was adapted from the Klamath traditional tale of the origin of Crater Lake.

I recommend this book for young children. ... Read more

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