Knots on a counting rope / by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault ; illustrated by Ted Rand.

By: Martin, Bill, 1916-2004Contributor(s): Archambault, John | Rand, Ted [ill.] | Juvenile Collection (Library of Congress)Material type: TextTextSeries: Reading rainbow book: Publisher: New York : H. Holt, c1987Edition: 1st edDescription: [32] p. : col. ill. ; 21 x 26 cmISBN: 0805005714; 9780805005714Subject(s): Indians of North America -- Juvenile fiction | Grandfathers -- Juvenile fiction | Blind -- Juvenile fiction | People with disabilities -- Juvenile fiction | Imprints 20th century 1987DDC classification: [E] LOC classification: PZ7.M356773 | Kn 1987Summary: A grandfather and his blind grandson, Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses, reminisce about the young boy's birth, his first horse, and an exciting horse race.
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A grandfather and his blind grandson, Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses, reminisce about the young boy's birth, his first horse, and an exciting horse race.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4 Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses begs his grandfather to tell him again the story of the night he was born. In a question-and-answer litany, the boy and his grandfather share the telling of the events on that special nightthe wild storm; the frantic ride for the grandmother/midwife; the birth of the frail, sickly boy; and the blessings of the blue horses. Through a staccato dialogue, readers learn how the boy, who was born blind, teaches his horse to run the trails. They enter a race, and although the boy does not win, his grandfather tells him that he has ``raced darkness and won.'' The boy and his grandfather each have such a distinctive voice and cadence that there is no need of imposing qualifiers such as ``he said.'' The story unfolds naturally, exhibiting the love between the boy and his grandfather. The illustrations, executed in strong watercolors, capture the beauty and strength of the southwest. Through form and color, Rand creates enduring mountains, fluffy clouds floating in a brilliant blue sky, and the gritty textures of the earth. The people exhibit character, individuality, and pride. And the loving bond eloquently expressed in the text is also reflected in the profiles of the two seated figures surrounded by the glow of the campfire. Parents and grandparents should share this book, and then their own stories, with children. Karen K. Radtke, Milwaukee Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Children's writer Bill Martin, Jr. was born and raised in Hiawatha, Kansas. Ironically, the future early childhood educator had difficulty reading until he taught himself, before graduating with a teaching certificate from Emporia State University.

After graduation, he taught high school drama and journalism in Kansas. He served in the Army Air Force as a newspaper editor during World War II. He wrote his first book, The Little Squeegy Bug, for his brother, Bernard, an artist, to illustrate while recuperating from war wounds. It was published in 1945 and the brothers would go on to collaborate on 10 more books by 1955.

He earned a master's degree and doctorate in early childhood education from Northwestern University and became principal of an elementary school in Evanston, Ill., where he developed innovative reading programs. In 1962 Martin moved to New York City to become editor of the school division of Holt, Rhinehart and Winston where he developed the literature-based reading programs Sounds of Language and The Instant Readers.

Martin returned to full-time writing in 1972 and ended up writing over three hundred children's books during his career. His titles include; Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear?, The Ghost-Eye Tree, Barn Dance, and Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom. He died on August 11, 2004 at the age of 88.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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