Buffalo Bill

Buffalo BillBuffalo Bill by Ingri d’Aulaire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve often considered the “Wild West” to be fascinating. Cowboys, buffalo, Indians, wagons and life on the pioneer are tantalizing elements of fiction. Perhaps I read a little too much Little House on the Prairie as a girl.

Of all the famous elements of the west, the person who most embodies our ideas of the west is Buffalo Bill Cody. He guided wagons on the Oregon trail; He rode for the Pony Express; he hunted buffalo; he was a friend and sometimes an enemy of the Indians around him; He fought in the Civil War; He served as a guide and scout during the Indian wars. He felt more at home in the wild than in a city, and yet he made a living touring cities and putting on a show for the public based on his exploits.

This book was a book that we chose because it is on the Year one list for Ambleside Online, and I’m finishing up a modified version of year one with all four children. This was one of the last books on my list that I had not read to the kids, and I was glad I didn’t skip it. All four children listened intently to the story and shared the things that interested them from the book. This is probably one of the better told d’Aurlaire books.

I asked each of the children to tell me what they would would say if someone asked them about the story, and this is what they said.

Ellie (age 6): Buffalo Bill made a stage show and they liked it.

Connor (age 7): In Buffalo Bill, there were 2 Bills that went by the name Buffalo Bill because they were such good hunters. They made a competition to see who could shoot the most Buffaloes. The one who lost would go back to just being Bill. Buffalo Bill even made it harder on himself to give his rival an advantage. His rival lost to him.

Buffalo Bill started writing his stories down because he made a deal with someone who said he would make him famous. That man was a fast writer.

Emalee (age 11): This was a bad book. There was a lot of killing in it. It was violent. They called a guy fat. It was very dangerous to ride a horse without a saddle. He was a bad example. Kids don’t try try this at home. (She was the only child not to give this book a five star rating, and I’m pretty sure she’s just trying to be contrary because she seemed to find the book pretty interesting until the other kids did too!)

Bennett (age 12): I would give it ten starts if I could. It was a good book with a lot of adventure. It was violent. Kids should read this. It was a great part of history and a good look at Native Americans. Good historical biography.

This one really is a good addition to your library, both for schooling purposes and just for entertainment. The children also have asked me to add this to our permanent library so they can flip through it and enjoy it.

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