On Our Shelves Now
A young girl spends the summer at her grandmother’s home on the Standing Rock Reservation in this illustrated, heartwarming family story from acclaimed, award-winning author-artist S. D. Nelson.
Now that Clara is almost in third grade, she’s finally old enough to spend her first summer away from home visiting her grandma, Unci, and her cousin at their home in Standing Rock Reservation. To welcome her visit, Uncle Louie brings an extra-special surprise in his pickup truck: the tipi that’s been passed down through their family for generations.
The girls learn how to stack the poles and wrap the canvas covering around them, how to paint spirit pictures on its walls, and how the circle of the tipi tells its own story, reminding us how to live in the great Circle of Life. Over long days spent playing outside, doing beadwork together, telling stories, singing songs, and sleeping under the stars, the tipi brings the family closer together.
As summer draws to an end, goodbye comes all too soon, but Clara will always cling to the memories of summer days and starry nights . . . and Grandma’s tipi.
About the Author
S. D. Nelson is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in the Dakotas. He is the award-winning author and illustrator of a number of books, including Crazy Horse and Custer, Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, Black Elk’s Vision (winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Storyteller Award and named a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best), and many more. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.
"Representations of contemporary Native American life are sorely needed on children’s literature shelves, and this extended picture book lovingly chronicles daily life on the reservation as it follows one family’s summer of activities, all centered around the sacred cultural space of a tipi."
— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Nelson’s vibrant illustrations are stylized to reflect Lakota ledger drawings. He effortlessly blends this art style into his realistic, authentic depictions of modern Lakota life.”
— The Horn Book Magazine
"Nelson (Standing Rock Sioux) depicts his people’s customs with reverence…When Clara’s time on the Standing Rock Reservation comes to an end, the rich lessons of her heritage stay with her—just as they will with young readers, who will be drawn in by both Nelson’s moving narration and glowing images."
"This recent creation from acclaimed and prolific author/illustrator Nelson will make for an entertaining and informative read-aloud."