“Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days is a signature edition of collected quotations and sayings of North American Plains members of different tribes plus a stunning array of historic, rare sepia and [black-and-]white photographs of Native Americans of the Plains taken before 1904. Michael Oren has edited some of the proverbs and quotations, but the impact of the wisdom is unmitigated. Here are pictures of herds of buffalo, mothers and children in beaded cradleboards, Indian boys and girls at play with com husk dolls and bows and arrows, and whole tribes riding horses pulling travois laden with buffalo hide tens and camp supplies. Here also are photos of bowls, spoons, corn, meat drying racks, pottery, jewelry, and rugs, and their making. All pictures are further explained in quotations of words from documented Native American individuals, with much guidance and valuable life messages contained in each utterance. The last few pages show modem color photos of Native American children of today, some still in special tribal dress. Michael Oren Fitzgerald has taught Religious Traditions of the North American Indians at Indiana University and is an adopted son of the late Thomas Yellowtail, an esteemed American Indian spiritual leader of the previous century. Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days is a fascinating window into the past of North America's many Plains Native American tribes, sure to be enjoyed by children ages 4-8 and their parents, caretakers, and educators.”
—Children's Bookwatch, a review publication of Midwest Book Review
“Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days, edited by Michael Oren Fitzgerald will tell you how The People lived, worked, played, hunted, told stories, and shared with one another. Maybe the sacred days of long ago are gone. Maybe not. Maybe they live on in beautiful books like this one where the days stretch endlessly before us and people of wisdom speak knowingly of the world they inhabit. Wisdom shines forth like this: ‘Women have power: Children. Can any warrior make a child, no matter how brave and wonderful he is?’ (Maria Chona, Papago, p. 4).
“Yes, ‘Life is so different now,’ as Belle Highwalking (northern Cheyenne, p.17) tells us. ‘There are even some people today that always lived in town. They will never know what it was like to live in the country.’
“This lovely book full of fine photographs of the old days reminds us that the old ways were good because they were not always easy: ‘ … People were tough in those days,’ says Pretty Shield (Absaroke, p. 16). But they prayed that goodness would follow them all the days of their lives: ‘We prayed that we might be beautiful in body, face, and heart. This protected us from evil. Then we had strength to meet the day and its problems’ (Polingaysi Qoyawayma, Hopi, p. 19).
“To read a book that is full of wisdom is a privilege, and thanks to Michael Oren Fitzgerald, we can do that. To take the spirit of such a book and breathe it in, slowly and with reverence, is food for the mind that will cleanse the heart. That way the good days are still with us.”
—Gerald Hausman, storyteller, educator, and author or co-author of more than 70 books such as The American Storybag, Time Swimmer, Turtle Dream: Collected Stories from the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Havasupai People, Three Little Birds, and The Jacob Ladder
“This gem showcases the traditional life of the Plains Indians who ‘resist[ed] the white encroachment’ the longest. Although the tribes included had varied cultures, Fitzgerald focuses on two common themes: moral character and the ‘sacred quality of virgin Nature.’ Categorized under headings such as ‘Mothers,’ ‘Girls at Play,’ ‘Boys Love Bows and Arrows,’ ‘Daily Camp Life,’ ‘Music and Dance,’ ‘Living in Nature,’ and ‘The Olden Days Have Vanished,’ each section is generously illustrated with sepia-toned archival photos. Quotes from important members of the tribes, people who had experienced firsthand or learned the traditional ways from elders, make up most of the text… The images are carefully positioned, and spot color photos of cultural artifacts add detail to each topic. The concluding pages, ‘…But Many Traditions Live On,’ switch to color pictures of modern children participating in traditional activities. For the art alone, this will be a useful addition.”
—School Library Journal, from a review by Carol S. Surges
“Children of the Tipi is a treasure. The book shares both images and words that accomplish so well what Michael Fitzgerald describes in his Editor's Note: that we can ‘learn the wisdom of the olden-day Indians directly from the source … we can still glimpse the spirit of that irreplaceable world directly through their words and photographs.’ In this book we have this unique opportunity to listen and look. I greatly appreciate Fitzgerald’s goal to ‘show not tell’ about Native wisdom, ‘including the emphasis they placed on moral character and the sacred quality of virgin Nature.’
“During the past several years as I have written and spoken about the need for children's books about and by Native Americans, I have emphasized the need to show individuals, not stereotypes, and historical accuracy, not myths, exaggerations, or misrepresentations — or silent omissions. We need books written from the Native perspective.… [Children of the Tipi ] brings the reader full-circle to now, contemporary times, with photographs of today's Native children continuing the very traditions described in earlier pages.
“Michael Fitzgerald has created [a book] that is accessible and understandable to young readers.”
—Nancy Bo Flood, counselor, educator, and author of such books as The Navaho Year, Cowboy Up!: Ride the Navajo Rodeo, and The Hogan That Great-Grandfather Built
“Synopsis: What was it like to grow up in the world of the pre-reservation Plains Indians before the coming of the white settlers? Prior to our modern era of television, video games, and computers how did American Indian children live, learn, and play? Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days is a beautifully illustrated book in which author Michael Oren Fitzgerald, combines stunning photographs and simple quotations by Indian chiefs and elders to explain to today's youth what life would have been like growing up on the American plains. Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days includes sections on boys and girls at play, camp life, and the important role of parents and grandparents. It features historical sepia photographs of children at work and play, as well as detailed color photographs of their toys, tools, and everyday objects.
“Critique: Informative, exceptionally well written, and superbly presented from first page to last, Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days is especially recommended as an enduringly popular acquisition for school libraries (Preschool - 3rd Grade) and community library Multicultural and American History picturebook collections for children ages 4 to 8.”
—Reviewer’s Bookwatch (Midwest Book Review)