The Storyteller: My Years with Ernest Thompson Seton

Leila Moss Knox
Langdon Street Press (2015)
ISBN 9781935204534
Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views (8/15)

 Article first published as Book Review: ‘The Storyteller: My Years with Ernest Thompson Seton’ by Leila Moss Knox on Blogcritics.

“The Storyteller: My Years with Ernest Thompson Seton” by Leila Moss Knox is a book that beautifully shares the stories and legend of Ernest Thompson Seton, Leila’s uncle, whom she called “Granddaddy.”  The love of animals and nature is evident throughout the stories in this book, and it was a delight to read from cover to cover.

The way in which the author’s “Granddaddy” tells his stories is direct, and often a little suspenseful. Many times, I wasn’t sure how the story would end, or if an animal would make it out alive or not. I particularly like the story, “The Foundling,” an excerpt from one of Granddaddy’s books. This story shares a tale of an old momma cat, and a young squirrel in need of food and nurturing. Other topics covered in this book of stories include nature and country living, Native American history, and animal wildlife, including birds, wolves, bears and even porcupines.

 There are several stories shared that educate the reader on the lifestyle of the Native Americans. In the story, “The College of Indian Wisdom,” I learned about sign language, pictographs, and totems. It’s always fascinating to me to learn about how other cultures lived and communicated. This was all taught at the summer camp put on each summer. Granddaddy was the chief of the camp, where many personal values were taught to the youngsters, along with wonderful activities in which to participate. The field trips that were taken introduced the author to bat life, pueblos in New Mexico, and petroglyphs in Albuquerque. What an incredible opportunity to learn in a fun and interesting way! I grew up in Arizona, and I wish I would have had some of the opportunities to learn about all the things Ms. Knox was able to experience.

 I highly recommend “The Storyteller: My Years with Ernest Thompson Seton” by Leila Moss Knox to anyone, but specifically parents and teachers of curious students. The stories in this book provide a wonderland of learning that will excite anyone. I am eager to take my first trip to New Mexico and experience some of what I have learned in this book.