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How the Stars Fell into the Sky: A Navajo Legend (Sandpiper Houghton Mifflin Books) Paperback – 29 Aug 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Juvenile Books (29 Aug. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395779383
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395779385
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 20.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Oughton's fine debut provides Desimini with the best vehicle she's had for her spare, powerful style . . . A dramatically handsome setting for an especially noble Native American tale." Kirkus Reviews with Pointers

About the Author

Jerrie Oughton has written several novels for young adults. Her first, Music From a Place Called Half Moon. was awarded the Bank Street College Children's Book Award. She lives with her husband in Lexington, Kentucky.

Desimini has created oil paintings as well as multimedia art for numerous children's books and adult book jackets.

Desimini has created oil paintings as well as multimedia art for numerous children's books and adult book jackets.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this story! My 6 year old has gotten very interested in mythology lately, so I wanted to expand her knowledge outside of just Greek and Roman myths.

This book was a bit of a tough read though for younger readers, I found myself simplifying it, making it more to their level.

THAT said! For older readers it was nice to read a different culture's myth about the stars.
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Format: Paperback
Absolutely wonderful childrens story about Coyote and how he contributed to the pattern of stars in the night sky.

Wonderful retelling of the story my children loved it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautiful story, beautifully and simply illustrated. The navaho story of the creation. My daughter was captivated by it.... what more can I say?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8c510498) out of 5 stars 25 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c294030) out of 5 stars Starry, Starry Night...This is a beautiful story... 10 Jun. 2008
By Arcturus70 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I actually purchased this book because I loved the cover art, and the title, "How the Stars Fell into the Sky," intrigued me. The image of the Navajo woman, star in hand, gazing up thoughtfully into the dark, "new" sky really captured and held my attention. I wanted to read this book! :) I also felt that it would be worth sharing and discussing with my students.

The illustrations are amazing; they feel warm, soft, and alive--not harsh or garish at all. Each image underscores the emotions and actions of this story of First Woman who wants to communicate laws to her people---present and future--in such away as the laws would always be accessible and always be remembered. She carefully places stars in certain patterns until the impatient, meddling Coyote offers to help--which eventually brings the woman grief and human beings confusion.

What's interesting about this story is the dynamic comparison / contrast that occurs with the main characters: First Man, First Woman, and Coyote. The First Man and the Coyote (Man and animal) are both extremely impatient to be getting onto other here and now "Life" activities while the First Woman considers the future, believing that writing the laws is necessary. Writing the laws requires time and careful efforts. It is a sacred duty she takes seriously. Thus, in this tale, the woman is the respectable, responsible, beyond-the-moment person and the dedicated law giver. (Some world legends and myths tend to place women in subservient roles and / or vilify them.) Her only mistake is trusting the Coyote to help her. [Perhaps, this is the warning embedded in the story: beware of "animal instincts," "urges," and haste because they can cause unhappiness, discord, and disorder.]

"How the Stars Fell into the Sky" contains the following collection of universal themes that can be examined and discussed in group / class settings:

First Woman is compelled to write the laws of her people. (Her mission, her divine calling)
First Woman cares for her people and their welfare. (Identification with a Group)
Coyote enters the scene (Animals with human characteristic--talents and flaws.)
First Woman trusts the Coyote at first. (Innocence)
First Woman witnesses the Coyote's tragic deed. (Experience)
First Woman respects the world, nature, and all its cycles (Acceptance)
Humanity has often looked to the heavens / stars for guidance.
Stars are jewels of the sky
trust / distrust
impatience and haste
darkness and light
organization; chaos (confusion)
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c29427c) out of 5 stars How the Stars Fell into the Sky: A Navajo Legend 2 Nov. 2000
By Donna A. Schroeder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
My son is in 2nd grade and they're doing a unit on Native Americans. We read this book together and enjoyed the story as well as the beautiful illustrations. This book also lends itself to do the shadowbox project that goes along with the class studies. I enjoyed the Navajo concept of how the stars are patterned in the sky. We would recommend this book for the 7-9 year old group.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c2944bc) out of 5 stars How the stars fell into the sky? 10 Nov. 2007
By Ann Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a thought provoking legend about the origin of the stars - the patterns and the absence of patterns to be found there. It contrasts human behaviour - represented by the first woman, with animal behaviour - represented by a coyote, and would be ideal for any child to hear, think about and to read. The illustrations are bold and vivid.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c29481c) out of 5 stars EVERYDAY PEOPLE 2 Nov. 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book has a message for every age. Our everyday lives are entwined in our work and all we hold important. This book, has within a few pages, alot of the dreams that we must reach for in our lives, and the obstacles that try to sway us. It shows that even when we do not reach our goals life goes on. We do not see the consequences just the outcome of behaviors, our own and that of others. I would reccommend this book to everyone..
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c294a38) out of 5 stars You can't undo the fall away from knowledge and grace 5 April 2011
By M. Heiss - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Beautiful book. The colors are so rich, and the personalities seem so lifelike. In this Navajo legend, First Woman's plan to write the law into the stars is going along very well, until Coyote the Trickster begins to help her. The law will be a guide to the people and it will help them live peaceful lives. But Coyote soon loses patience with the time consuming task, and flings the blanket full of stars to fall all over the sky.

The people have wandered in confusion since then.
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