dePaola, T. (1996). The legend of the bluebonnet: an old tale of Texas. New York, NY: Penguin Putnam books for Young Readers.
The storybook that every wild flower lover, every admirer of history, every native or modern Texan must read. That is The Legend of the Bluebonnet. This folktale is the retold Comanche legend of how bluebonnets came to Texas. It begins with She-Who-Is-Alone, a little girl who’s lost much, is destitute, and looking for a place to belong within her people. Author dePaola includes reverent artwork and carefully preserves the respectful, somber feeling through the use of lines in her drawings. From the strong profiles, to the details in the hair and dresses, dePaola lets the art depict how serious things are for She-Who-Is-Alone. In addition, the setting of the book is a character of its own. She-Who-Is-Alone must take what she values most and decide whether she will sacrifice this one thing to belong to a tribe who holds no members of her family. She’s the only one. Her decision alone is the only thing that stands between more deaths or much needed rain for her people. Will she succeed in her quest? Will her sacrifice stand the test of time?
Parents, don’t be let this Texan jewel pass you by. Every child must know why the beautiful bluebonnets abound. You can speak about how the weather can make people’s lives change. What can people to do remember those they love? What is it to be selfless? These are all excellent qualities that children understand and can model.
Teachers, this is an excellent opportunity for cross-curricular activities. Connect ideas between social studies and reading, history and character. The possibilities are endless.
Enjoy this beautiful tale of how a small child can affect their community.