Winner of the Governor General's Award for Children's Illustration
A beautiful and visionary book, Ancient Thunder celebrates wild horses and the natural world of the prairies.
Using an extraordinary technique, Leo Yerxa, an artist of Ojibway ancestry, makes paper look like leather, so that his illustrations seem to be painted on leather shirts. Each shirt is accompanied by a rich song of praise for the wild horses that came to play such an important role in the lives of the First Peoples.
Years in the making, the book is truly a work of art — one that reflects Yerxa's sense of nature and the place of native people within it.
Leo Yerxa was born on the Little Eagle Reserve in northern Ontario. His first book, Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall, was nominated for a Governor General's Award and won the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award, the Mr. Christie's Book Award and the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award. His book Ancient Thunder was winner of the 2006 Governor General's Award for Illustration. Leo lives in Ottawa.
...a rich, wild, free song of praise. - Teaching Tolerance
...a work of art. - Ottawa Citizen
...an inspired, soaring homage to wild horses and to Yerxa's native ancestry. - Quill & Quire
...another surefire prize contender...Ancient Thunder's concise text effectively sets up the book's clever, creative images. - Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW
...striking and expressive...Yerxa's poetic lyrical text is sparse and thoughtful...Highly Recommended. - CM Magazine
...stunningly beautiful... - Globe and Mail
In both their content and feel, the compositions...evoke a sense of wonder...aspiring artists and those interested in native cultures - may well find much to linger over. - Publishers Weekly
In this title spare, poetic text and vibrant artwork combine to celebrate the mystique of wild horses. - Book Links
Seldom does a picture book strike one so forcibly as a work of art, both visual and verbal. Yerxa's book is an object of beauty and it celebrates beauty in [a] way that must enrich viewers of any age. It has layers of meaning that will continue to reveal themselves in reading after reading. Highly recommended. - Toronto Star
The illustrations in this book are astonishing!...Ancient Thunder is completely uplifting, and can be enjoyed by all ages. The horses are able to run off the clothes - even off the pages! With pictures like this, and a concise text, children will be eager to turn the page. Older readers will be in awe of his talent. - Resource Links
The paper, watercolor, and gouache collages are the prominent feature of this beautiful picture book...uniquely created...The movement creates a rhythm that carries the reader through the book. The bold illustrations make a visual statement that can be appreciated alone. - SWON Libraries
With its inspiring tribute to horses and unique illustrations, this book would be a superb addition to any elementary library collection...Younger children will love the illustrations while older students will grow to have an appreciation for the importance of the horses in the life of native people. Teachers may use this book with lessons about Native Americans or inspiration for art projects. This book is a terrific choice. - Library Media Connection
The book will inspire readers with the simple beauty of the horses and nature, which will capture and hold their attention to the last page. - Childhood Education Magazine
Yerxa's illustrations lure us into this mythical world with their rhythmic pacing and bold colorful textures...they reveal a luminously rich vibrancy. - Language Arts
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