They Came from the Bronx: How the Buffalo Were Saved from Extinction

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9781563978913: They Came from the Bronx: How the Buffalo Were Saved from Extinction

A Comanche boy sits beside his grandmother on a hilltop in Oklahoma. As the old woman gazes across the valley below, she remembers the lost world of her youth and the greatest gift of the Great Spirit--the buffalo. Like other children of his generation, the Comanche boy on the hilltop has never set eyes on a buffalo. The great herds that once stretched to the far corners of the sky have vanished from the plains. After years of slaughter, the buffalo live only in the memory of the tribe's elders. But on this October morning in 1907, the boy will see with his eyes what he had previously seen only in his imagination. This special book commemorates the dream of saving a significant part of North America's heritage and native peoples' culture. From the archives of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Neil Waldman has created a work that is both poignant and inspiring.

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About the Author:

Neil Waldman has created paintings for many books for children, including The Starry Night, The Golden City, The Two Brothers, The Never-Ending Greenness, and Masada, all of which he wrote. His paintings also can be found in The Wisdom Bird and By the Hanukkah Light, both written by Sheldon Oberman. He lives in White Plains, New York.

From School Library Journal:

Gr 2-5-This picture-book slice of America's natural history defies classification. Waldman begins with a brief memoir about childhood visits to the Bronx Zoo and his curiosity about its "Mother Herd" of American bison. The heart of the book is a fictionalized recounting of the delivery of 15 of these animals from the zoo to the plains of Oklahoma in 1907. Double-page spreads alternate with the thoughts of a waiting Comanche boy and his grandmother and a description of the beasts' journey by horse-drawn wagon and train. The book concludes with a historical note about this particular event and other efforts in the late 1800s and early 1900s to return the buffalo to the western plains. The watercolor-and-ink drawings, almost entirely in shades of sepia, give the book the look of an old album. Readers may sense from the writing that Waldman was taken by the story of those bison traveling from the city zoo to the vast plains and was forced, by lack of factual data remaining from those days, to imagine the scene. He does this effectively in both text and illustration, which show signs of careful research into the period and locales. This title will work well as a read-aloud in studies of endangered species, westward expansion, and zoos. Desiree Webber's The Buffalo Train Ride (Eakin, 2001; o.p.) is nonfiction for older readers.

Ellen Heath, Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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