Friday, September 6, 2013

Children's Book Review: Custer's Last Battle by Paul Goble

Custer's Last Battle: Red Hawk's Account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn

Author: Paul Goble

Publisher: Wisdom Tales

Date: August 7, 2013

About the Author
Paul Goble is an award winning author and illustrator of children's books. He has won both the Caldecott Medal and The Library of Congress' Children's Book of the Year Award. To date, Mr. Goble has illustrated over 30 books. He has given his entire collection of original illustrations to the South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings, South Dakota.

Custer's Last Stand From An Indian's Perspective
This book is a special edition of Mr. Goble's first book, "Red Hawk's Account of Custer's Last Battle." The account given in this book is fiction, but told in the manner of the published accounts of Indian people who had taken part in the battle. This edition features the illustrations in beautiful digitized color, scanned from the original artwork housed among the collections in the South Dakota Art Museum. This new edition includes a Foreword by Joe Medicine Crow, a 98-year-old former Crow tribal historian whose grandfather was one of Custer's own scouts.

The story of the Battle of the Little Bighorn is told from the Indian's point-of-view in a manner that children will understand. The color illustrations are outstanding. Children will gain a new understanding of this famous battle from the simple text and detailed illustrations in this book.

My Thoughts
I have been a fan of Paul Goble's work for many years. He truly makes history come alive with his authentic writing and dazzling illustrations.

I think children are interested in reading about Native Americans. They have viewed many "cowboys and Indians" movies on television. Many of the old westerns portray the white soldiers as the "good guys" and the Indians as the enemy.

Mr. Goble does not "sugar-coat" the story of this battle. War is hell and this battle was no exception. Many men and animals suffered and died on the day of "Custer's last stand". 

Children will understand that the Indians were fighting to protect their families, herds and land. This is a sad chapter in American history but the truth needs to be told.

Most of the books listed in the "References" section at the end of the book are no longer in print. This list needs to be revised and updated to include books that have been published in recent years.

This book will make an excellent addition to public, school and home libraries.
Recommended for children ages 8 and up.

My Rating: 5 Stars Out Of 5

FYI ~ I received a complimentary hardcover copy of this book from the publisher.

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