Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Legend of the Bluebonnet” as Want to Read:
The Legend of the Bluebonnet
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Legend of the Bluebonnet (Legends)

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,000 Ratings  ·  169 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 Books (first published March 25th 1983)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 05, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
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
Apr 13, 2015 Emma rated it liked it
Shelves: children-2015
This is the native American origin story of the famous Texas bluebonnets.

Being as its bluebonnet season right now here in south Texas, I thought this would be a fun read for my son. Unfortunately, it was a little over his head. This was the first he was hearing of native culture and he didn't understand the notions of famine or sacrifice. I don't think there's anything wrong with the story, though, and this served as a good introduction for those topics.
Philip Carlson
Nov 13, 2014 Philip Carlson rated it really liked it
The legend of the bluebonnet is the courageous story of a young Comanche girl named, She-Who-Is-Alone, and her selfless act of saving her people from famine and drought. She-Who-Is-Alone cherishes her warrior doll, which was made for her by many different people in her family using precious materials valued by her People. The Comanche have been experiencing a severe drought and there is not enough food for everyone to eat. The Shaman speaks to the Great Spirits and they instruct him to offer a ...more
Dec 08, 2015 Annikka rated it it was amazing
Summarize the book:

This is a tale retold by Tomie dePaola that comes out of Texas. There is a drought, the People are starving, and they are looking to the Great Spirit to give them an answer on what to do. One child in the village, named She-Who-Is-Alone, waits with her special doll to find out what the Shaman have learned about how to end the drought and famine. When the Shaman come down from the mountains and tell the People that they must make a burnt sacrifice of the most prized possession,
Yanilsa Griffin~BFD Bookblog
Jan 06, 2015 Yanilsa Griffin~BFD Bookblog rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-s-school
Great for lesson on myth and cultural phenomenon. TEKS 5.3
Skylar Burris
Sep 28, 2008 Skylar Burris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
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
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
Tomie DePaolo is the author and illustrator of one of my favorite books The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, so when I saw that I had another book by him sitting on my shelf I had to check it out.

The illustrations of his books are always gorgeous and this is no different. I adore the water color treatment and the pure emotions put into each scene. The story itself tells of the selfless story of the Native American origins of the bluebonnet, and centers around a little Comanche girl as she watche
Aug 21, 2007 Efrat rated it it was amazing
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
Title: The Legend of Bluebonnet

Author: Tomie dePaola

Illustrator: Tomie dePaola

Genre: Legend

Theme(s): Traditions, customs, symbols

Opening line/sentence: “Great spirits, the land is dying, your people are dying, too.”

Brief Book Summary: The bluebonnet was a little Indian girl’s most prized possession and to help end the suffering of her own people she sacrificed this blue bonnet. This story tells how the state flower of Texas came into existence.

Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
Debra Briati
Shelby O'Rourke
Nov 08, 2015 Shelby O'Rourke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traditional
A little girl, known only as she who is alone, lives with her tribe who is suffering due to a drought that has already claimed many lives, including her entire family. One day the spirits tell the people that they are selfish and will not be given relief until they show that they have changed their ways and are no longer selfish people. That night the girl sneaks out at night and sacrifices her only possession, a beautiful handmade doll. The ext morning the fields are filled with beautiful blue ...more
Lucy Hall
Title: The Legend Of The Bluebonnet
Author: Tomie dePaola
Genre: Legend
Theme(s): sacrifice, altruism.
Opening line/sentence:
(Great Spirits, the land is dying. Your people are dying too.)
Brief Book Summary: (A Native American story about a village dying from drought. A leader decides to tell his people to scrifice something valueable they have. A little girl who lost her family in the drought decides to give up her only possession she had, her doll. )
Professional Recommendation/Review #1: (Children
Oct 13, 2015 YUE LE rated it it was amazing
Shelves: legend
Title: The legend of the bluebonnet
Author: Tomie dePaola
Genre: picture book
Theme(s): Legend, selfishness and selfish less
Opening line/sentence: Great spirits, the land is dying. Your people are dying, too,
Brief Book Summary: The land was drying in an Indian tribe. People are praying and dancing for the rain to come. There was a girl in the tribe, her name is She-Who-Is-Alone. She sacrifice her most cherished possession and so the rain began to fall.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
Hannah Harris
Title: The Legend of the Bluebonnet
Author: Tomie dePaola
Genre: Legend
Theme(s): Dolls, draughts, tribal traditions
Opening line/sentence:
"'Great spirits,
the land is dying. Your people are dying, too.'"
Brief Book Summary:
Cursed with a lengthy draught, the people of "She Who is Alone"'s tribe are desperate for water to cultivate their land and feed their children. However, the sprits have yet to bless them with any water. One day, the young girl comes to the top of a hill and offers her doll, ado
Lorena Magallanes
May 03, 2015 Lorena Magallanes rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Holt
Jan 31, 2015 Melissa Holt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: culture
I absolutely love this author and his stories! His illustrations are amazing and his stories are always amazing too! I really enjoyed reading this book and think this book is a great book to read to children about the Native American people. If there is every a culture portion written into my lesson plans I would read this book due to the cultural aspects of it. This book is a great lesson to teach children about how you have to make sacrifices for the people you love and also teach children abo ...more
Alexandra Escamilla
Sep 30, 2014 Alexandra Escamilla rated it it was amazing
Shelves: project-1
The Comanche tribe is threated by disease and famine. In order to save their people, the people must give a burnt offering of their most valuable possession. The Comanche people begin giving their offerings. A young girl, She-Who-Is-Alone, decided to give her most prized possession and only thing left from her family, a warrior doll. She went up on the hill and gave her doll to the Great Spirits. When she awoke, the land was covered with beautiful bluebonnets. The people sang and gave thanks to ...more
Victoria Leininger-halpern
Sep 21, 2014 Victoria Leininger-halpern rated it really liked it
This book is focused on the legend of a flower called the Bluebonnet, and how it came to grow in Texas, and how a little girl known as She-Who-Is-Alone helped her tribe have these beautiful flowers through her selfless sacrifice.

As far as stories go, this book has a strong plot about sacrificing for the greater good and helping others, which is an important theme children should learn. Being selfless and doing things for others, without having personal gain, should be taught to children to ensu
Rosa Cline
Apr 24, 2014 Rosa Cline rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, reading-rainbow
This is a wonderfully written 'tale' from the Comanche People. The land was dry and people were dying. When the medicine man went and prayed he came back to tell the tribe they must give up something very important and special and it would then rain. A little girl that only had a doll left from her family, everyone else had died. She loved her doll because it reminded her of her parents and grandparents but she knew she MUST sacrifice and burn her beloved doll. And by doing that she saved her pe ...more
Oct 31, 2013 Keelin rated it really liked it
Shelves: fab-40, multicultural
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.
Jun 08, 2015 Chloe rated it it was amazing
The Legend of the Bluebonnet written by Tomie dePaola is a great story of sacrifice. The story depicts the importance of family and community. She tale describes how a young Native American girl has been orphaned due to a terrible drought. The chief describes that each member of the tribe must sacrifice their most loved possession in order for there to be rain. The young girl is willing to give up the only thing that connected her to her past and her relationship with her mother. She sacrifices ...more
Franklyn Kornn
Apr 25, 2015 Franklyn Kornn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lssl-3361
The author retells the legend of how the bluebonnet came to be the state flower of Texas. There was a terrible drought and a lot of people suffered. A young girl named She-Who-Is-Alone sacrifices her most prized possession, a doll, to the Great Spirits. This doll is her only connection to the family she has lost. The Great Spirits accept her gift, end the drought, and as a sign of forgiveness, they cover the ground every spring with beautiful blue bonnets. I really liked this book because I did ...more
Anne Hennessey
DePaola, T. (1983). The legend of the bluebonnet. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
Genre: Fiction
She-who-is-alone is a young Native American girl who’s family died in a terrible drought. Her tribe is struggling to survive without the rain to keep their crops alive. To end the drought, the Great Spirit requests that the tribe make a sacrifice to the Earth. The young girl decides to sacrifice her only possession, a warrior doll, so that her tribe can be fed once again. When the young girl wakes up fr
Ashley Snarr
Sep 25, 2014 Ashley Snarr rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with this book as soon as I read the first page. I come from Native American ancestors, so anything deals with the culture or traditions of Native Americans fascinates me. The pictures for this book are illustrated beautifully. What I really enjoyed though was the end of the story. This girl has lost everything and she gives up the one thing that means everything to her. The author then illustrates true native american culture when the village renames her. It is important to have ...more
Jun 14, 2012 Reba rated it liked it
Shelves: 5360-summer-12
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.
Rebecca Brannon
Apr 24, 2016 Rebecca Brannon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Wow! I loved reading this book. It was a fantastic folk tale from the Comanche people. The story itself is full of heart and all sorts of good things. I loved how the culture of the Comanche people was represented in an authentic way. The story was a great modern retelling of a traditional story.
This book would make a great addition to a folklore unit and even a library in general. It also would be great as part of a Social Studies unit on the Native Americans. Using stories like these would sh
Cassandra Neal
Sep 17, 2014 Cassandra Neal rated it it was amazing
This book is the story of a little girl named She-Who-Is-Alone who sacrificed her most prized procession, her warrior doll whose eyes, nose and mouth were painted on buckskin with the juice of berries, in order to end a drought and famine in order to save her people, The Comanche tribe. Her selfless act of burning her doll, prompted the Great Spirits to bless the land with a warm rain and where the ashes of her precious doll fell, each spring bluebonnets appear. The selfless act of She-Who-Is-Al ...more
Melissa Smith
Apr 22, 2015 Melissa Smith rated it liked it
Shelves: lssl3361
This book is written when the Commanche people are suffering from a severe drought. The leader goes to the hill to pray and comes back saying God is angry at them for their selfishness. The only way for it to end is for everyone to sacrifice something. One of the little girl’s family is all gone and all she has left is a doll. She doesn’t want to give it up but she finally decides to burn it. This could be used for a Native American lesson plan that you would study in third or fourth grade. Can ...more
Feb 28, 2014 Jade rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 04, 2009 Josie rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Jan 23, 2010 Josiah rated it liked it
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale
  • The Quilt Story
  • The Talking Eggs
  • Rechenka's Eggs
  • The Story of Jumping Mouse
  • Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale
  • How My Parents Learned to Eat
  • Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: A Nandi Tale
  • Amos & Boris
  • Brother Eagle, Sister Sky
  • Abiyoyo
  • Letting Swift River Go
  • Going West
  • Berlioz the Bear
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd
  • The Seven Chinese Brothers
  • Linnea in Monet's Garden
  • Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China
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 about Tomie dePaola...

Other Books in the Series

Legends (5 books)
  • The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush
  • The Legend of Old Befana
  • The Legend of the Poinsettia
  • The Legend of the Persian Carpet

Share This Book