American bison

American Bison … Making a comeback!..

Where are they now?

Students will be transported to a time when the bison roamed the Great Plains by the millions.

We will learn how they were inextricably interwoven with the lives of the Native American people.

We will take an up close look at Bison today… learn what they look like, what they eat, where they live, and how they are used.

Together we will learn a Bison song composed by Mrs. Retana and Mrs. Rhoads.

María Retana was the featured author at the event, presenting from 10:00 am until 2:00 p.m.

There were activities for kids that blended in with the stories that Mrs. Retana read. the titles offered were: The Pig that is not a pig/El cerdo que no es cerdo, Born into the pack/Nacer en la manada and The Mystic Call/La llamada mística.

On June 29, 2011 Mrs. Retana delivered a reading of and signed her books for 34 Boys and Girls Club summer program members in Bisbee, AZ.

She was happy to see some of her former students from Greenway Elementary in the audience. They behaved wonderfully for her, had great comments and shared interesting anecdotes about the javelina.

On Tuesday, June 14, 2011 author Maria Retana and her illustrator Pat Pollock Rhoads visited the Buffalo Company Ranch in Buckeye, AZ they conducted research on the Bison which symbolizes the Native American Culture.

They we were transported to the time when the bison roamed the Great Plains by the millions.

As a result of their experience, a story for children’s ages 2-6 and a workshop for preschoolers and kindergarten students will be available in the next few months.

Mrs. Retana graciously shares:

Pat Pollock Rhoads’ imagination and talent was not diminished by the 103 degrees temperature while sketching and observing the size of the bison.

They weigh up to 2,000 lbs and reach 11′ in length. The cover for our bison e-book story is going to be very colorful.

Pat says she envisioned ALL the colors she used when creating her sample illustrations, I did not see them but who dares argue with an artist!?

On May 7, 2011 the San Pedro House in Hereford, AZ sponsored a Spring Festival to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day.

María Retana was the featured author at the event, presenting from 10:00 am until 2:00 p.m.

There were activities for kids that blended in with the stories that Mrs. Retana read. the titles offered were: The Pig that is not a pig/El cerdo que no es cerdo, Born into the pack/Nacer en la manada and The Mystic Call/La llamada mística.

This is a story about a little boy and his desperate attempt to find the family’s beloved pet. He cannot understand what happened to his gato. When he visits his grandparents’ house, as usual, he looks for his cat.

He checks the T.V. room, outside in the garden, and in the kitchen but cannot find him. Jazz has crossed the Rainbow Bridge but this is hard for such a young child to understand. Then the inevitable happens. The little boy asks his grandpa, “Where is Jazz”? and grandpa answers simply; “Jazz went bye, bye.”

While vacationing with her husband in Puerto Rico in the Summer of 2010, María Retana took a large number of photos of Fort San Felipe del Morro. This old sea fort is also known as Morro Castle or Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Spanish.

Through these pictures, the author creates a maze and invites the little boy to search for his beloved pet. In a dream the little boy finds himself at Fort San Felipe accompanied by his friend Mr. Owl. Together they enter the maze with only one thought in mind; find Jazz and see him one more time.

The illustrator, Diane Fahrner is primarily a sugar artist who uses various graphic programs to create designs to apply to cakes with an airbrush. To create the illustrations for the story, Diane used a combination of several graphic programs to cut and paste images from various family photos into the photos from Puerto Rico.

The author and illustrator hope that this story can help comfort a child who has lost a beloved pet. At the end of the story, the poem “Rainbow Bridge” from an unknown author, has been added in hopes that it will also help with the acceptance process.

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