The Legend of the Bluebonnet
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Legend of the Bluebonnet (Legends)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  2,164 ratings  ·  109 reviews
When a killing drought threatens the existence of the tribe, a courageous little Comanche girl sacrifices her most beloved possession--and the Great Spirit's answer results not only in much needed rain but a very special gift in return. "An ideal complement to Native American and Texas studies..."Booklist
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 16th 1996 by Puffin (first published March 25th 1983)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
My Antonia by Willa CatherBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownThe Grapes of Wrath by John SteinbeckLittle House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WilderThe Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
The Great Plains
32nd out of 114 books — 53 voters
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John SteptoeThe Sandwich Swap by Rania Al AbdullahThe Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet BishopWhy Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna AardemaEsperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Best Multicultural Books for Children
39th out of 112 books — 72 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,742)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Another one we had to read for school but we really liked this one. We've read several by Tomie dePaola in the past and love his books. This was no exception. An educational story about giving up something important to you for those that you love, it shows that even children have the power to be brave. My 5 yr old loved this story and so did I. Not only the moral lesson here, but there's lots of learning about the American Indian culture. We learned about tipi's (how they spell it in the book),...more
Skylar Burris
My daughter asked me for "a book about Indians" when we were at the library, and so I picked up this Native American legend of the origin of bluebonnets, a legend about the temptation to cling to material things. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the formal, rhymed, metrical telling of the story and by its positive spiritual message, which I admittedly had to somewhat re-explain to my daughter in terms of our own Christian tradition: "where your treasure is, there will your heart be al...more
Aug 21, 2007 Efrat rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
There was a time when I had an intense interest in all things Native American and, in response, I think my parents bought this book for me. To date, I've probably read it about 100 times. The writing is simple bordering austere yet ultimately uplifting. The illustrations are lovely to look at and a true representation of De Paola's illustration style. She-Who-Is-Alone is one of my favorite literary heroines of all time. Her selflessness always makes me cry, which can be problematic when reading...more
Jill Wolosonovich
A. The Legend of the Bluebonnet
• The overriding theme is the value of self-sacrifice for the greater good of the whole.
• The theme evolves naturally from the plot— the tribe is experiencing starvation due to a drought -- the shaman shares the solution to their problem – She-Who-Is-Alone realizes her sacrifice would be the greatest and mean the most – the theme builds to a crescendo when she throws her warrior doll, most valued possession, into the fire – in the morning the Great Spirits have sh...more
Michelle Cepeda
This is an excellent book to read to young children - as well as for young children to read themselves. It teaches children to think about others before themselves. It also teaches about the culture of the Comanche. I enjoyed reading this book, and I'm sure children would love it too. In my personal opinion, if more people were like the young girl from the story, this world would be a much better place. I definitely recommend this book to anyone, both children and adults!

Learning Extension: This...more
Genre: Traditional Literature
Awards: None
Grade level: K-2
I would use this book in my classroom while learning about flowers or about the Native American culture. After reading the book to my class I would have them cut out bluebonnet flowers and have them write their most prized possession on the flower. Then hang them up around the classroom. This book is important because it teaches students about sacrifice and the Native American culture.
Nov 19, 2008 Relyn rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone who loves flowers, Native Americans, or children's lit
Recommended to Relyn by: curriculum
How can you go wrong with a book that your students applaud when you finish? This was such a hit! If you are familiar with Tommie dePaola, I don't need to say anything else. In fact, I am running out of time and can't say anything else. Just this: read this book.
A little girl gives up her most precious possession to help end her tribe's suffering.She is rewarded with blue flowers growing all around her.
The Legend of the Bluebonnet tells the story of an old Native American legend about a young girl who is willing to give up her most cherished possession to save her people from the drought that threatens to destroy the tribe. Because of the drought, the Shaman asks the Great Spirits for rain. The Great Spirits message to the tribe is that the Comanche people must sacrifice their most important possession or the dry season will continue. The only willing member to make the needed sacrifice is a y...more
The Legend of the Bluebonnet written and illustrated by Tomie DePaola
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons
Legend: Picture Book
Ages 6 to 10

This picture book retells the legend of how bluebonnet flowers came to Texas. The story centers around She-Who-Is-Alone, her Comanche tribe and their Shaman. It is set in a time before settlers came to Native American land in Texas. There has been a great drought and the tribe is asking the Great Spirits for rain. When the Shaman returns from the top of the hill...more
The Legend of the Bluebonnet is a stirring, uniquely powerful look at an old Native American legend about a young girl who is willing to give up her most cherished possession to save her people from the drought and famine that threaten to wipe them entirely off the map.

The Comanche tribe's shaman returns from a consultation with the Great Spirits to convey an urgent message to all members of the tribe: The land's lack of productivity is a direct result of the people's continually growing self...more
Brittney Griffith
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is an excellent display of good character. It shows children that no matter how small they are, their sacrifice matters as in the story where the little girl sacrifices the only possession she owned so there will be rain and people can be saved from famine.
Tomie de Paola discusses important issues such as family, community and nature. All children can surely enjoy this, but I would recommend this book at the Kindergarten level due to His usage of extraordinary vocabulary such as, drou...more
The Legend of the Bluebonnet is a touching story of love and sacrifice. The illustrations are colorful and active. This book would definitely be more geared towards a slightly older audience due to the more complex story line and small print of the words. This would be a great book to introduce a history or culture lesson. Also, it would be great to transition into a social-emotional theme or activity. This book is a re-telling of a folk tale, so it would be a great way to start talking about wh...more
An unseasonably long drought orphans a Native American girl, leaving her with only memories and a warrior doll. When she sacrifices her beloved possession with the hope of ending the famine, she awakens the next morning to find a reward of her selflessness – a thick clusters of vivid blue flowers spread all over the Texas hills. A beautifully illustrated, accurate depiction of Comache cultural dress, lifestyle, songs, dances, and prayers.
Dustin Roberts
When a drought and famine strike a Comanche community, a lot of the elderly and young die. But a young girl named SHE-WHO-IS-ALONE is spared. Without any family left, the most precious thing in her life is a doll made by her mother and father. Little does the community know, this doll is the greatest blessing they could ever hope for.

A very uplifting traditional Native American tale centered on compassion and selflessness on the part of a young girl. Young children will greatly benefit from it...more
Sharon Medina
The Comanche Indians are in need of rain to end the drought so they dance and ask the God is what they have done to anger them. The shaman of the tribe went to a hill to listen to the Great Spirits to see what they need to do in order for it to rain again. The Great Spirits told the shaman that they must make a burnt offering of their most prize possession. The young girl who is alone had only one item to remind her of her family, which is gone. She made the decision that her doll is the prize p...more
Sep 30, 2008 booklady rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: children...of ALL ages
While I love all of Tomie dePaola's books, this is one of my all-time favorites. Skylar reminded me the other day to pull it out and reread it--something I haven't done in awhile. I used to read it to every one of my religious education classes. It is the story of a little girl who (spoiler alert) gives up her favorite -- and only -- possession to save the life of her people. Because of the importance of her sacrifice, as well as because children can relate to it, I liked to use this story to te...more
Dundee Library
A great introduction to the concept of legends as well a a wonderful pre-Christmas read illustrating a true gift from the heart. Tomie dePaola's illustrations and simple text draw the reader in and keep even young children interested throughout the story. An orphaned Indian girl is the main character. After loosing her parents to a famine that has killed many of her people, she saves her tribe by throwing her only possession, a doll made by her parents, into a fire meant to symbolize to the gods...more
Särah Nour
This is the Native legend of the origin of the state flower of Texas, the bluebonnet, and what it represents for the Comanche people. In a time of drought and famine, the tribal elder declares that a sacrifice to the Great Spirits will bring rain and revitalize their crops. Within the tribe is an orphaned girl named She-Who-is-Alone, who takes it upon herself to make a sacrifice that will save her people and sow the seeds of the bluebonnet.

Far more than a Native legend made accessible for childr...more
Brittany Baker
This story tells the legend of how the bluebonnet flower came to be in Texas, however, it also tells much more than that. This story is also one of great sacrifice. The little girl had nothing, she had lost all her family to the famine, yet she was willing to sacrifice the one thing she had left of them all to save the People. Not many people would make such a sacrifice. I think this story produces a sense of selflessness, a quality that I believe all people should strive to have. In today's soc...more
Morgan Davis
She-Who-Is-Alone is a little girl that lives in a tribe all by herself because her closes family were hit hard because of the drought anf famine. She had a warrior doll that meant a lot to her because her mother and father made it for her. It had been along time since the land had seen rain and the "Great Spirits" were coming to take an item from the tribe in return for rain. Everyone in the trible knew the warrior doll was very important, but She-Who-Is-Alone didn't want to give it up. But one...more
I picked up this book in college in a book order because I wanted the audio tape of "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" and this book came with it (also with an audio tape). It really didn't mean much to me until I moved to Texas where they have actual Bluebonnet flowers. We don't get Bluebonnets in Wisconsin but they grow like crazy along the highways in the spring so I pulled this book off the shelf. I do believe I read this book as a small child as well.

I really do love his drawings. His use of color i...more
Sara Stalder
It is always interesting to read stories about different cultures and their legends/stories. In this tale of a tribe's desperation for the Gods to bring rain, a young girl sacrifices her most prized posession to the Gods to bring rain to the tribe. Her story of sacrifice was very touching. It makes me wonder what my most prized posession is and if I would be able to give it up. However, I did feel like maybe this story was just a tad boring. There wasn't a whole lot of exciting things happening,...more
Michelle Rosales
She-Who-Is-Alone is one of the young children in the tribe. Little does she know that she will be the biggest asset to the Comanche. When drought and famine hit the land hard, because the Great Spirits reveal that is has happened because they have been selfish. They have taken from the land and must show selflessness in order to restore the land. She-Who-Is-Alone has nothing left in the world, except her doll and offers it as a sacrifice to save her tribe. It is then that the Great Spirits accep...more
In the Legend of the Bluebonnet to mentions how this flower came to be. The legend is about a little girl named She-Who-Is-Alone who offers her beloved doll as a sacrifice to the great spirits so the rains can come and end the drought. The Comanches are dying because of the drought and the land can't provide food for the buffalos which is their main source of food for this indian group. The great spirtis mentions to the shaman that the people must offer their most valued possesion and burn them....more
The Legend of the Bluebonnet is a touching story about the sacrifice of a little girl for the love of her people. In this story the Comanche people are suffering a drought that has resulted in death for many of its people. She-Who-Is-Alone has lost every member of her family and is now an orphan. She realizes that she can save her people by sacrificing the only thing that she has left of her family. This theme of sacrifice is a difficult lesson for anyone to learn. This is not a lesson that the...more
This folk tale is very interesting and has a lot of meaning.It shows children that no matter how small they are, their sacrifice matters as in the story where the little girl sacrifices the only possession she owned so there will be rain and people can be saved from famine.I love the way Tomie de Paola cleverly illustrates the hills and the tribe.

Learning Experience: I will teach children about the state of Texas,and the state flower of Texas which is the bluebonnet.We would also sample food fr...more
Julia Brumfield
A beautiful retelling of a Native American legend that doesn't only explain how a particular plant came to be but is also a story of generous loss and courage to give up for others' survival. This is definitely a book for any age group, any gender and just anyone in general

Like many other Tomie dePaolo books the illustrations are beautiful and colorful as well as very detailed. You get an eyesight into the tribe, of the clothing and most of all the land around them. Along with beautifully simp...more
Kayla Whitlock
A new favorite fictional story for me. definitely one I would read about Indians or about fiction.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 91 92 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Quilt Story
  • Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale
  • Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale
  • Rechenka's Eggs
  • Berlioz the Bear
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd
  • The House on East 88th Street
  • Regards to the Man in the Moon
  • It Could Always Be Worse: A Yiddish Folk Tale
  • The Story of Jumping Mouse
  • The Talking Eggs
  • Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: A Nandi Tale
  • Imogene's Antlers
  • Arrow to the Sun
  • Amos et Boris
  • Letting Swift River Go
Tomie dePaola (pronounced Tommy da-POW-la) is best known for his books for children.
He's been published for 40 years and has written and/or illustrated over 200 books, including 26 Fairmount Avenue, Strega Nona, and Meet the Barkers.
Tomie dePaola and his work have been recognized with the Caldecott Honor Award, the Newbery Honor Award and the New Hampshire Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure....more
More about Tomie dePaola...
Strega Nona The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush The Art Lesson Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs The Clown of God

Share This Book