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How Spirit Dog Made the Milky Way: A Retelling of a Cherokee Legend
How Spirit Dog Made the Milky Way: A Retelling of a Cherokee Legend
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Reviewed Titles Capstone Interactive Accelerated Reader

How Spirit Dog Made the Milky Way: A Retelling of a Cherokee Legend

A Cherokee couple spends their days fishing and making cornmeal. When a giant dog steals their cornmeal, the neighbors all gather to help. Find out how this Cherokee legend explains the creation of the Milky Way.

GenreClassic Fiction
Reading LevelGrades K-3
Interest LevelGrades K-3
Lexile Level540L
ATOS Level2.7
AR Points0.5
AR Quiz #123571
PublisherPicture Window Books
Page Count32
Capstone Interactive eBook
List Price: $53.32 School/Library Price



Children's Literature Comprehensive Database - Sara Lorimer

"Many seasons ago, an old man and woman lived at the edge of a Cherokee village. Their home stood beneath a thick oak tree. The oak tree gave them shade from the sun.” The man fished, and the woman worked in their garden. The old woman picked corn. Then she ground it to make cornmeal. She left the cornmeal outside at night. It was for the next day’s bread. One morning the cornmeal was missing, with bits scattered on the ground. “They also found the paw prints of a giant dog.” When this happens a second time, the couple asks their neighbors for help. The neighbors come back that night with “rattles, drums, buckets, stones, and sticks” to frighten away the spirit dog. When they hear it eating the cornmeal they all raise a racket and scare the dog away. It jumps into the sky, dropping bits of cornmeal. The cornmeal “formed a thick band of golden flecks. The flecks looked like a river of stars.” The dog never came back. The couple sometimes would sit up at night, staring at the stars and remembering the time their neighbors helped frighten the spirit dog away. The author fails to answer several questions raised by the story: Why didn’t they just move the cornmeal inside? What is a spirit dog? Why are the people drawn with such large faces? These, however, are doubtless only things an adult reader will care about; children will probably be content with the story as it is. The simple vocabulary and short sentences make this a good choice for early or reluctant readers. The full-color illustrations are a little amateurish, but not too bad (and are charming in their own way). The book could be a good addition to a lesson on astronomy or folk tales." - Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

January 1, 2009

Book Links - Jeanette Larson, independent children's literature consultant and an adjunct pro

"In this Read-It! Readers series title, a giant dog steals all of the cornmeal, and the neighbors gather to chase him. As the dog runs, the cornmeal spills out into the sky, creating the Milky Way." - Book Links

March 31, 2009

Michael O'Hearn

Michael O'Hearn

Michael O'Hearn published his first book in 2007, a graphic novel following the story of Henry Ford as he built the Model T automobile. He has since published many other books and continues to write both nonfiction and fiction. Michael lives in Connecticut with his wife, Karen, his daughter, Kendal, and her stuffed kitty, Meowy. When he's not busy writing, he likes to write and record songs, work on cars, trim bonsai trees, and read.

Go to the Author’s Page →