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Arrow to the Sun
CM arrow sun.jpg
Author Gerald McDermott
Illustrator Gerald McDermott
Country United States
Genre Children's picture book
Publisher Viking Press
Publication date
ISBN 0-670-13369-8
OCLC 707401
299.7 398.2 E
LC Class E99.P9 M25 1974

Arrow to the Sun is a 1973 short film and a 1974 book, both by Gerald McDermott. The book was printed in gouache and ink, and won the 1975 Caldecott Medal for illustration. Both media are a retelling of a Pueblo tale, specifically an Acoma Pueblo tale, in which a mysterious boy seeks his father. In retelling the tale, some folklore scholars believe that the story has digressed from the spirit of the Acoma tradition.


The Boy (who does not have a name) is the son of the Sun lord, who sends the spark of life into a maiden of the Pueblo. He is ridiculed by the other boys because he has no father.

The Boy asks various adults of the Pueblo to help in find his father. When he asks the wise Arrow Maker, the man transforms the Boy into an arrow and launches him to the Sun. Arriving in the Sun, his identity as the Lord's son is tested by passing through four ritual huts: the Kiva of Lions, the Kiva of Serpents, the Kiva of Bees, and the Kiva of Lightning.

After the Boy endures these trials, the Lord acknowledges him as his son. The Boy is then sent back to Earth by his father, to bring the Sun's spirit into the world of men.

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