The Earth Made New: Plains Indians Stories of Creation

Written and Illustrated by Paul Goble

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Paul Goble can wear his books as a mark of honor: so authentic is the writing and so brightly shining his love for the people whose stories he is retelling. Like the coot in this story, he digs deep in his search for the true traditions. His research takes him from the oldest recorded versions to the Indian storytellers of today. Goble attempts to recreate written stories as an oral storyteller would have told them. Therein lies the strength of the tale.

The Earth Made New is a creation story. “For Indian peoples, creation is going on all the time. There were worlds before this one, and there will be others in the future,” the author tells us, reflecting the Indian belief that the world has four ages. In each age, Bull Buffalo, the protector, loses one leg. At the end of the story Bull Buffalo has lost three of his four legs. When he dies the world will come to an end, and “Earth Maker will make another world.”

The glorious illustrations will surely entice reluctant readers: from the picture of the thundering horses (such swift movement) to the pictured stillness of the shaggy buffaloes. Each page can be the launching point for a reading activity and discussion on the Native American traditions, and traditions from other cultures. the birds are accurately drawn. Fourth grade readers can list names of the birds and animals pictured and enjoy the story of how their world was created.

Additional Resources:
Author biography:

  • Earth Made NewTitle: The Earth Made New: Plains Indians Stories of Creation
  • Author and Illustrator: Paul Goble
  • Publisher: World Wisdom
  • Reviewer: Anjali Amit
  • Hardback: 40 pages
  • ISBN: 978-1-933316-67-3
  • Genre: Social Studies
  • Lexile Score: 860

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