Buffalo Song

By American Indians in Children's Literature

Drawing in good part on oral interviews with Salish elders in the 1920s and ‘30s by the Montana Writers Project, Bruchac weaves together the stories of . . . compassion and dedication that led to the establishment of the Pablo-Allard herd and the eventual restoration of the buffalo. In doing so, he fashions the events of a complex story into a satisfying and accessible picture book that will resonate on many levels with young children. The preface to Buffalo Song is Bruchac’s recounting of a Salish story told in 1926 about the return of the buffalo. Weaving in and out of historical and mythological time, both the original tale and Bruchac’s reframing of it as a creation story mirror the great struggles for herd restoration from the 19th century up to and including the present. Together the two versions become, in fact, a re-creation story about the revitalization of the great herds and an honor song for what the Salish have done. . . . for all it is and all it says, Buffalo Song is highly recommended.