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Buffalo Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonig/Le Guin, Ursul/Hardb/087654071X/S054-A1
Pomegranate Art Books
Ursula K. Le Guin has an uncanny understanding of the magical. In this story, she is particularly adept at exploring the magic of animals as she shows us their wisdom, follies, spirits and personalities. The animals seem like people to us - albeit strange and extraordinary people - just as they do to the little girl who finds herself living among them after Coyote rescues her in the wilderness. We learn, with the girl, that they are the "Old People", those who used to live freely on the earth and who now must maintain their lifeways carefully alongside the careless and dangerous world of the "New People" - humans. Le Guin uses the animals - from the irreverent trickster Coyote to the boastful doctor Bluejay to the wise matriarch Grandmother Spider - to take us in and help us remember, deep within our own ancient histories, their sacredness and magic, as well as that of the earth, thereby heightening our own compassion and sense of what is holy.
It is hard to imagine a more appropriate illustrator for this book than Susan Seddon Boulet. Her paintings have long dealt with the themes of the merging of animals and humans, of the elevation of the spirit, of the power of ancient Native ways. In over twenty colour illustrations, Boulet garnishes Le Guin's well-known tale with mysterious, joyous and deeply contemplative images, involving us so wholly in the world of the "Old People" that we, like the little girl, do not want to leave. Buffalo Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonight becomes a story to read again and again, unfolding more and more magic through Le Guin's incomparable writing and Boulet's unforgettable pictures.