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The Buffalo Are Back

by Jean Craighead George

Book list Reminiscent of George and Minor's The Wolves Are Back (2008), this handsome book discusses the history of the buffalo on the American plains. Succinctly and gracefully written, it envisions the centuries when Indians carefully managed the land, using the buffalo for food, shelter, and clothing. In the 1800s, government policies brought about the destruction of the tall-grass prairie, the shooting of the American buffalo, and the end of the Plains Indians' traditional way of life. In the early twentieth century, Teddy Roosevelt facilitated efforts to protect the few remaining buffalo. After the 1930s Dust Bowl, farming methods were changed and, eventually, some prairie lands were replanted with native grasses, enabling the return of many buffalo to prairie preserves. The book concludes with a few of the illustrator's sources as well as a list of places to visit in person or online, but no sources for the text, even for the quote from Chief Sitting Bull. Illustrated with beautiful landscape paintings and striking close-ups of people and animals, this book offers a very effective presentation of the buffalo's story.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly From the creators of The Wolves Are Back, this graceful story explores how the American buffalo almost became extinct. Minor's striking naturalistic paintings of buffalo and a dust bowl landscape mirror George's sturdy, reflective prose: "When the buffalo lived on the prairie, their sharp hooves helped rain reach down into the earth, and the tough roots of the grass held in the wet." Theodore Roosevelt's establishment of the National Bison Range offers hope for buffalo, and in a moving final spread, a Wichita Indian man counting buffalo for the census welcomes "America's two hundred thousand and eighty-first buffalo" calf. A tribute to an American icon and to the power of preservation. Ages 5-8. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 2-5-This picture book is a hybrid of nonfiction and fiction, as George tells the story of how the buffalo made a comeback in the American Midwest after being nearly decimated in the late 1800s. Beginning with the symbiotic relationship that the buffalo had with the American Indians and the land itself, she goes on to explain how westward expansion and poor decision-making on the part of the American government led to the animals' near extinction. As a result of those actions, the land became barren and inhospitable to any real crop growth, which contributed to the dust storms of the 1930s. With care and protection by a few key individuals, the native grasses and the buffalo were able to make a renaissance, bringing their numbers back up. Eloquent and affecting, the writing transports readers onto the plains and into the past, making the devastation sobering and real. And when the resurgence of both the buffalo and the land is described, it is with jubilation and relief. Accompanied by beautiful, single- or double-page watercolor illustrations that are rich with detail, the prairie comes to life. Excellent for sharing aloud with a group, this title provides a unique perspective on an integral time in American history. A must-have for most libraries.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.