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Arrow to the Sun: A Pueblo Indian Tale
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Arrow to the Sun: A Pueblo Indian Tale

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  3,816 ratings  ·  251 reviews
Explains how the spirit of the Lord of the Sun was brought to the world of men. 1975 Caldecott Winner
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published June 10th 1974 by Viking Books for Young Readers (first published 1974)
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It may have won the Caldecott, but even award-winning books can (and should) be set aside.

Errors in it are several.

One, what pueblo is it about? The subtitle is "A Pueblo Tale" but there are 19 pueblos in New Mexico, and we're not identical. Amongst us there are several language groups.

Two, kivas are places of ceremony and instruction, not places of trial. However, in McDermott’s kivas, the protagonist must prove himself by fighting lions, serpents, bees, and lightning in four different kivas.
This book had the most interesting cover, so I couldn't pass up reading it. When I saw that it was a native american tale , I was intrigued because I have not read any tales from this culture. This book is based on an Pueblo Indian tale, and is also illustrated in Pueblo style art. It did not surprise me that the book won the Caldecott medal because the illustrations are magnificent and really bring an element of depth to the story. The story centers around a young boy who was sent to the earth ...more
Ann Keller
I really enjoyed this Indian folk tale. Nice to see stories like this being shared at last.
This is my favorite book in my 2nd grade classroom. I love it because it's a short story, not difficult to read, and the illustrations are so cool that they look like you're playing a video game. When I'm reading it, I feel like I'm reading the words on a video game screen. The story is an ancient one of the Indians, and it is fascinating to me. I love how the boy perseveres even though people are mean to him and even though it's hard to get to the sun. It teaches me how to persevere. (Note from ...more
David Thompson
The story is about a boy who does not have a father and the children mock him about it as well as not let them play with them. The son takes it upon himself to find him. Because the arrow maker was intuitive, he suggested that he gets fitted into an arrow and gets projected to the sun. The boy must go through some challenges to prove himself before spark of life could be the son of the sun. The lord of the sun succeeded and became filled with the power of the sun to share with the world of men. ...more
Tayler Pomeroy
“Arrow to the Sun: A Pueblo Indian Tale” is written and illustrated by Gerald McDermott. This book is the story of how man came to Earth. It tells of how The Boy journeys to meet his father, the Lord. There are several pages of just pictures that show the tests The Boy must pass after he meets his father. The illustrations are Indian style, using lots of orange and brown colors, as well as black. Line is very prominent in all of the illustrations in that each shape is very geometric. The illustr ...more
Alexis Keable
Arrow in the Sun shares a Pueblo Indian tale of a boy in search of his father. The Boy had to undergo many trials to find his father. On his journey he meets different men asking if they can help lead them to his father. Not until the Boy comes across an arrow maker does he find a solution. The arrow maker turned the boy into an arrow and fired him into the heavens. Once arriving on the sun, the Lord didn't know if this boy was his son so he made the boy prove to him. Enduring four trials the bo ...more
Amanda Hayes
Caldecott Award winner, Arrow to the Sun a Pueblo Indian Tale, was a mysterious tale. The pictures are what stands out the most in this children's picture book. The aurthor/ illustrator Gerald McDermott shares a tale passed down from Pueble indian to pueblo indian about the Lord of the sun and his son born unto a young maiden. It describes the challenges the young boy suffered on earth and later how he had to prove his birth right to not only his father but the Peublo people. After the boy's jou ...more
Kathryn Anne Russell
Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott is a Pueblo Indian tale that was retold for a modern audience. The book follows the life of a young boy who was born to a woman in a pueblo from a spark sent from the sun god. The boy grew up and was made fun of by the other boys in the pueblo for not having a father. The boy decided to go on a journey to find his father. He went to the Corn Planter and the Pot Maker with no luck before visiting the Arrow maker who sensed he was wise and possible from the sun ...more
Jennifer Hackett
Traditional Literature: Folktale/Mythology/Motif
McDermott, Gerald. Arrow to the Sun (1974). Arrow to the Sun is a Pueblo Indian tale about a boy that was created by spark sent from the Sun. Other boys would not play with him because he had no father, so he decided to leave his pueblo and find his father. When he came across the Arrow Maker he was turned into an arrow and shot into the heavens. When he meets his father he must prove his identity through a series of test including the Kiva of Lion
Keani Meier

Arrow of the sun By Gerald McDermott
Within this story the art work portrayed Indigenous culture like Mayan or Aztec. They used paint or pastels at first the illustrator only used the colors of red, orange and yellow, Then near the end of the book the illustrator used more colors like green pink and blue.
The lord of the sun sent life to earth in a form of a child. That child grew up; he was mocked for not knowing his father. So he went to find him one day. An arrow maker and a wise man turn Lor
Jamie Singer
The lord of the sun came down and had a son, and no one would let him play because he had no father. He went for a search to find his father, and went to corn planter who ignores him, then pot maker, then arrow maker who was a wise man. Arrow maker did not answer, but knew he came from the sun. He put him to an arrow, and sent him to the sun on the arrow. He talks to the sun God, and says you are my father! The sun god said you must complete these tasks to prove, and they are 4 chambers, they ar ...more
Cheyenne Cortesi
In this story, a sun God sent a ray of life into a maiden’s home. She then gave birth to a boy, who grows up being picked on because he doesn’t have a dad. One day, he told his mom he was going to search for his dad and so he did. He asked many people if they knew where to find his dad, no one responded, except for the arrow maker. The arrow maker turned the boy into an arrow and shot him into the heavens. There the boy met his dad, and after many trials absorbed the power of the sun. After, he ...more
Spencer Klein
Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott is another Caldecott winner in the year of 1977. The book has been reformatted from its original folk tale form into children's book form. The lord of the sun brings the gift of life onto the Pueblo people in the form of a young child. As he grew up, he was mocked for not having a father, and so he grew curious as to where his father was. He asked around until an arrow maker told him he came form the sun, and the arrow maker sent him there. He then met his fa ...more
Samantha Zimmerman
Arrow to the Sun is a Pueblo Indian Tale written by Gerald McDermott that tells a story of how the spirit of the Lord of the Sun was brought to the world of men. This story starts with a young boy who grew up without his father went on a quest to find him. He traveled all around and eventually was made into an arrow and shot up toward the Sun, his father, where he was reunited with him. The illustrations in this book are all geometric shapes and bright colored, and though might confused some rea ...more
Lauren Brink
Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott is about how the Lord of the sun sent a spark of life to earth where it entered the house of a young maiden. This gave this young maiden a young son. The rest of the kids mocked this young boy and would not let him hang around the rest of them because he did not have a father. He asked many people for help to find his father, and found out his father was from the sun. After becoming an arrow, he was shot up into the sky into the sun where he was finally reuni ...more
This is based on a Native American legend, I guess. It is about the sun impregnating a woman. (Sound familar, anyone?) The son of the sun later becomes an arrow and goes back to his father, the sun. (Gosh, the parallels are striking.)

According to this site: http://americanindiansinchildrenslite... there are some inherent problems with this book.

David Korsak
This book is about a boy who was born from the sun. He begins a quest to find his father. So he went for a search to find his father, and went to corn planter who ignores him, then pot maker, then arrow maker who was a wise man. The arrow maker did not answer, but knew he came from the sun. He put him to an arrow, and sent him to the sun on the arrow. He talks to the sun God, and says you are my father! The sun god said you must prove yourself through a series of tests. If you want to know what ...more
Adam Donald
The story opens with a boy who is identified as the son of the Lord of the Sun. He is made fun of because on earth he has no father. Because of this he goes out searching for his father. He first asks a farmer, then a pot maker, and finally an arrow maker for help finding his father. The arrow maker recognized that he is from the sun and straps him to an arrow that he shoots at the sun. When the boy arrives at the sun he is tested by four spirits; when he passes the Lord of the sun accepts that ...more
Jennifer Lanman
This book was about a Hispanic boy who came from the heavens and sun. He wanted to find his father because kids would make fun of him for not having one. He searched everywhere and soon came to the Arrow Maker. He turned the boy into an arrow and shot him up to his father. He had to prove to his father he was his son and in the end he did and came back down to earth to celebrate and brought his dad's spirit to the men. The illustrations were bright and full of colors of the sun. Many pictures we ...more
The story of a boy's quest to please his father, the sun god, from the Pueblo people; I love the bold colors and graphic style of this McDermott book. There's a wordless section in which we need to interpret various symbols to understand the action. This has a modern feel to it.
Salina King
Arrow to the Sun is a story about a boy who was born from the rays of the sun buy the Lord of the Sun and sent down to earth. When he grew older he realized he was different and wanted to search for his father. His mother told him how he was born and that he had to search for his answers outside of the village. Eventually he found himself face to face with his father tested him to make sure he truly is the Lord of the Sun’s son. After proving he was his son the boy went back to his village and t ...more
Kelsey Hoban
Arrow to the Sun is a carefully done and unique story about a boy from the sun going on a quest to find his father. He searches through a world of men only to find himself back at the sun. Once there he must go through a series of tests to himself to his father. This book is told as a folk story and the illustrations are bold Native American art that are shown through few colors. These images take you back in time and into the story being told. The illustrations add to the culture and feel of t ...more
As is the case for many children in search of their identity, a boy who is descended from the Lord of the Sun, wants to find out more about his father. He is given very little help along the way, and he must pass four tests by going through the kiva of lions, snakes, bees, and lightning. When he returns to earth, he carries with him the sun's spirit. The gouache and ink illustrations are visually stunning, and seem to pulse with life and energy. I don't know how authentic the story itself is alt ...more
Jaycie Shearer
Arrow to the Sun is a hard book for children to relate to because it is not what many children are used to. The Native American influences make for an interesting story and provide insight into other cultures. The colors are bright and appealing to look at throughout the story. The oranges and yellows contrasted with the black on the pages, drawing the readers in. The illustrations are simple, but they still make it easy for readers to understand the story, however the text was very pertinent to ...more
Maddy Spoon
This Pueblo Indian tale details the story of how the Lord of the Sun was brought to the world of humans. It starts with a young boy who did not know his father and set out to find him. He travels far and wide and is transformed into an arrow that is shot up toward the Sun. The Sun is his father, and they are finally together. The illustrations are very bright colors and include a lot of geometric shapes that mimic historically accurate Native American artwork. I think this book would be a way to ...more
The bold illustrations! The colors! My favorite part is that the three trials the boy endures are illustrated without text. What could've gotten a bit tiresome is alive and captivating instead.
Megan Green
This is a story about a sun god who sent down rays and sent children to families. The boy who was sent was different, and had a difficult time finding and making friends. He wanted to know where he came from, so he went on a journey to find his father, but no one seemed to be able to help him. The only one who helped was the arrow maker. The arrow maker made him into an arrow and shot him to the sun. When he got their, he new he was his father. He had to go through trials however to prove he was ...more
Melissa McMaster
This was originally a tribal story that was translated into English. I found the plot of this story to be similar to that of the ancient Greek myth of Hercules. A boy is born from the sun, and in order to rejoin his father in the sun, he must perform a series of tasks to show that he is worthy and to prove that he is actually his son. These illustrations are very tribal; they use bold, bright colors and blockish, geometric drawings.
I enjoyed that this book is a great example of how the same kind
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Caldecott Medal 1975 - I read this one years ago, but in looking at it again, the illustrations really were quite spectacular for it's time.
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Gerald McDermott is an award-winning children’s book illustrator and an expert on mythology. His work often combines bright colors and styles with ancient imagery.

He has created more than 25 books and animated films. His first book, Anansi the Spider, was awarded a Caldecott Honor, and he’s since won the Caldecott Medal for Arrow to the Sun and another Caldecott Honor.
More about Gerald McDermott...
Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest Zomo the Rabbit: A Trickster Tale from West Africa Monkey: A Trickster Tale from India Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest

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