Work Title: The Buffalo Soldier
Work Author(s): Sherry Garland; Ronald Himler, illustrator
31 color illustrations, 32 pages ,Hardcover $15.95
Children's Picture Book
Reviewer: Robin Slaw
"Seems like this being freedmen's not what it's cracked up to be," says the soldier-narrator. His journey begins with his Ol' Master riding up to announce the end of the Civil War, and carries him through the Western frontier as a Buffalo Soldier. He joins one of six African-American regiments in the U. S. Army, dubbed "Buffalo Soldiers" by the Cheyenne, because their looks, bravery, and tenacity reminded the Plains Indians of the buffalo they long admired.
From the initial training, with a sergeant "mean as a skunk" who tells them, "Troopers, you got to train harder than the rest 'cause all the nation is watching you," through acting as an escort service to supply wagons or mail coaches, or protecting the telegraph crew, the book takes readers through the life of a buffalo soldier.
The author has written more than twenty-five volumes about history and interesting people, including Voices of the Alamo and The Lotus Seed. Her books have been selected for awards from the American Library Association's Notable Children's Books, Reading Rainbow, and Best Books for Young Adults. She tells the story of the buffalo soldiers with sympathy and eloquence, from the stinky feet and dirty boots in the barracks, to the waltzes and quadrilles at the fine holiday celebration. Garland includes a...