Cover image for The legend of the lady slipper : an Ojibwe tale
The legend of the lady slipper : an Ojibwe tale
Lunge-Larsen, Lise.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1999.
Physical Description:
30 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 22 x 27 cm
In this retelling of an Ojibwe tale, a girl's act of bravery to save her family leads to the appearance in the world of the delicate and tender flower called the lady's slipper.
Reading Level:
AD 610 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.6 0.5 31101.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.9 2 Quiz: 32996 Guided reading level: M.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library E99.C6 L85 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
Clarence Library E99.C6 L85 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Clearfield Library E99.C6 L85 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Crane Branch Library E99.C6 L85 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Elma Library E99.C6 L85 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library E99.C6 L85 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Collins Library E99.C6 L85 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The lady slipper grows in the northern woods to mark the courage and strength of a small girl who lived there long ago - a girl who saved her people from a terrible disease by listening carefully to the whispering snow, the rumbling ice, and the dancing northern lights. Illustrated with paintings as graceful and delicate as the lady slipper itself, this unforgettable retelling shows how a child's lost slippers became one of nature's most lovely spring flowers.

Author Notes

Lise Lunge-Larsen is an award-winning author and a professional storyteller. Born and raised in Norway, she lives with her family in the hills of Duluth, Minnesota.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. The Ojibwa tell a story of the moccasin flower, called lady slipper in English, a beautiful woodland blossom. First-time children's authors but longtime storytellers Lunge-Larsen and Preus use native sources and tell the sweet legend in a powerful way. The only one left whole when a devastating disease strikes her village, a girl sets out in deep winter to a neighboring village to get healing herbs to save the sick. She does not stay the night but starts back immediately and is caught in drifted snow. The snow whispers, "Be wise!" and she figures out, like the fox, how to free herself. But her fur-lined moccasins are left behind. She perseveres, with frozen and bleeding feet, to save her village. In the spring, when she returns to look for her moccasins, she finds instead a patch of small pink-and-white flowers shaped like the shoes. Clear, limpid colors enhance the decorative effect of the illustrations, whose lively line and use of pattern are reminiscent of beadwork. An authors' note and bibliography are included, and the authors particularly thank several Ojibwa language scholars for their assistance in the cadences of the language. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

In their appealing first book, the authors offer a smooth retelling of an Ojibwe tale, weaving a number of melodic foreign words into their narrative. At the center of the legend, which explains the origin of the ma-ki-sin waa-big-waan, or lady slipper flower, is a courageous girl who braves a fierce snowstorm to cure her ailing family and fellow villagers. Wearing deerskin moccasins, she walks all day until she reaches the wigwams of the people who have healing herbs. Worried that the illness at home may be worsening, she insists on setting back immediately and loses her moccasins in the deep snow; still she trudges on, leaving bloody footprints on the white ground. Her valiant efforts save the village and, when the snow melts, she and her beloved brother find lovely, moccasin-shaped blooms in place of her bloody tracks. In Arroyo's (In Rosa's Mexico) stylized watercolors, similar to Stefano Vitale's artwork, the warm hues of the heroine's native dress and moccasins, as well as of the elegant lady slippers, pop from a cool palette dominated by nature's blues and greens. An unusual simplicity and fluidity mark both text and art in this ideal choice for a springtime read-aloud. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-In this pourquoi tale, a girl undertakes a dangerous winter journey and risks her own life to bring healing herbs to her sick family and village. In crossing the snow, her moccasins are lost but she continues on, leaving bloody footprints in her wake. She returns to her village in a weak and sickened condition. When she has recovered in the spring, she discovers pink flowers that look like little moccasins in place of her bloody footsteps. The simple, declarative text includes some Ojibwe terms that are defined within the narrative. Sources are cited in an authors' note. Unfortunately, the cartoonlike watercolors are lacking in cultural distinctiveness. The characters are wanting in articulation and expression. The palette is bright, with the main character dressed in orange, red, and purple, and landscapes often include a vivid green not found in nature. Though folktales are not to be taken literally, readers familiar with the Ojibwe will notice that the heroine does not wear snowshoes in her winter quest. This gives the impression more of a fragment than a fully developed story, but the image of the bloody footprints turning into flowers is sure to captivate children. Pair this with Tomie dePaola's Legend of the Bluebonnet (Putnam, 1983).-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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