Rereading: THE SHY STEGOSAURUS OF INDIAN SPRINGS by Elelyn Sibley Lampman

While this is a sequel to “The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek,” it has a different feel because the main viewpoint character is a Native American boy.

Huck lives with his grandfather Opalo, a former medicine man of his tribe, in a lonely, run-down shack on their southwest desert reservation. Opalo prefers to live alone and keep the old ways, but age is causing him problems, and Huck is not yet strong enough to do everything needed as well as they would like. Plus, Huck now goes away to school much of the year, so must catch up on all the chores and repairs in summer. At the nearby hot springs, he meets George, the Shy Stegosaurus, who decides Huck is even less intelligent than himself, and needs protection. Soon, Huck also meets the twins, Joan and Joey, who are staying at a nearby summer resort. They’ve already had adventures with George, and are happy to reconnect with him.

Huck is often teased and bullied about his grandfather’s strange ways, and trouble for him begins when he tries to use George as a monster to scare away his tormenters. That fails, when George refuses to show himself to strangers. Soon, Ocala’s way of life is threatened when the reservation chief decides he’s getting too old to live alone, and must be placed with a family in the village. Huck and his new friends are looking forward to an upcoming festival where the tribe will gather for ceremonies, games, and feasting, and George wants to go too, but how? Unlike the hot springs, surrounded by rocky cliffs where he blends in, the festival is out in open fields. But George is determined, and soon is causing more trouble for his three friends.

Entertaining and appealing, the illustrations by Paul Galdone are a fine addition. Recommended.

The Shy Stegosaurus of Indian Springs by Evelyn Sibley Lampman

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