Arrow to the Sun

Arrow to the Sun

A Pueblo Indian Tale

by Gerald McDermott
Publisher: Puffin Books
Reprint, ©1977, ISBN: 9780140502114
Trade Paperback, 40 pages
List Price: $8.99 Sale Price: $7.64

The Lord of the Sun is a shadowy figure who lives up in that big shining orb. One day he shoots the spark of life down to earth and it lands in the house of a young maiden. Thus, the Boy comes into the world.

The other boys in his pueblo mock him because he has no father. The Boy determines to find his father no matter what it takes. But his father is all the way up in the sun. How will he get there?

McDermott's fabulous geometric illustrations make this book. They were described by his friend Joseph Campbell as "color magic" and they really are. Bold, inspiring, action-packed, and vibrantly colorful, they're also full of emotion as the stylized but human characters go through the wide range.

Though the authenticity of this being an actual "Pueblo Indian tale" is disputed, it's excellent on its own, as inspired by the Southwest and the Pueblo Indians. Joseph Campbell's influence is very strong in the story arc, making an almost perfect picture of the "Hero's Journey." The book is stylistically excellent while still remaining genuinely entertaining. This is the kind of book the Caldecott medal was designed to reward.

Arrow to the Sun was simultaneously made into a book and a film, which you can watch below.


Arrow to the Sun (1973) from waanaki on Vimeo.


Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.


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Exodus Rating:
FLAWS: Minor worldview issue
Summary: A boy's quest to find his father leads him, straight as an arrow, into the sun.

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