State Historical Society ‘Tasunka’ book featured in Atlanta children’s program

Tasunka: A Lakota Horse Legend is featured in the November Artful Stories program at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, located on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

The multi-award-winning South Dakota State Historical Society book, written and illustrated by Oglala Lakota artist Donald F. Montileaux, has received high praise since its publication in 2014.Montileaux - Tasunka (CI)

The Carlos Museum designed Artful Stories for preschool children. The program combines art and literacy to build vocabulary, flexible thinking, problem-solving skills and fine motor skills. Picture books are chosen for their quality and connection to current museum exhibits. In November, the course centers around Tasunka, which teaches children about ledger-style drawings. The book accompanies the Carlos Museum’s exhibit “Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection.”

“We are thrilled to be offering Montileaux’s Tasunka: A Lakota Horse Legend as part of our Artful Stories program,” says Alyson Vuley from the Education Department of the Carlos Museum. “Each child involved with the program will receive a beautiful hardcover copy of ‘Tasunka’ to help them learn about the pictographic art of the Plains peoples.”

In addition to reading Tasunka, participants will create a pictorial shield based on an artifact at the Carlos Museum by Joseph No Two Horns, the man who is believed to have carved the South Dakota State Historical Society’s Great Sioux Horse Effigy. The effigy recently returned from a two-year world tour and is on display at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

Tasunka is a story of adventure, discovery, loss and renewal, set to beautiful illustrations that illuminate the story of the horse and its importance to the Plains people. Readers journey with a young warrior as he tracks a strange new creature across the Plains and discover the destructive nature of power as well as a lesson in redemption.

Montileaux uses traditional storytelling methods to impart wisdom to new generations, and through the Lakota translation by Agnes Gay, Tasunka preserves an important piece of Lakota culture. Tasunka is dedicated to Alex White Plume, who first told the legend to Montileaux.

Tasunka: A Lakota Horse Legend is available for $19.95 plus shipping and tax and can be purchased from most bookstores or ordered directly from the South Dakota Historical Society Press. Visit, call (605) 773-6009 or

To find out more about the Carlos Museum and its exhibits, please visit


BookExpo America 2010

BookExpo America is the largest gathering of book-industry professionals in the Western Hemisphere, and little old South Dakota State Historical Society Press took its place among the giants of the industry for the third year running.

Now, that lead is a little misleading! Yes, we were there, but no we did not have an expansive, “blinged-out” booth to display our books. This year, however, for the first time, we did participate on the showroom floor. Each year we’ve been we’ve had some titles on display in co-op booths (the best way to go for small publishers), but this time, we also did a book giveaway. 2010 sees the release of The Enchanted Buffalo by L. Frank Baum with illustrations by Donald F. Montileaux. As part of the build up to that release and in order to develop the interest levels in the Prairie Tale Series in general, we decided to hand out copies of The Discontented Gopher to convention-goers.

The reception was great. People genuinely seemed keen on the book and on the series and we had a ton of good initial feedback. Here’s to hoping we see an increase in attention and sales of the series in the aftermath.

The BEA is huge: roughly 30,000 attendees and exhibitors this year. The NY Times has this write up of the show to give you an idea of what we’re talking about.

Aside from marveling at the sheer number of people and books in the main showroom, we attended numerous sessions on topics varying from Amazon to Google to ebooks to “green” initiatives, and many more as well. These sessions featured top-level speakers and, for the most part, we came out of them newly educated and ready to put things we learned into practice!

As you may have seen recently, we’ve been winning more awards recently. Well, alongside the BEA, a couple of award ceremonies took place while we were in NYC, so we put on our glad rags, jumped in a limousine, and walked up the red carpet (only some of that is strictly true, but you get the idea). The IPPY awards gala really hit the spot. We picked up our silver IPPY for Raccoon and the Bee Tree and our gold for Small-town Boy, Small-town Girl, and posed for the paparazzi with medals around our necks! A fun evening, to be sure.

But, now we’re back in the office, and we have to take it all in and work out how best to put the things we’ve learned into effect!

Sneak Peek at the Next Prairie Tale

Donald F. Montileaux is illustrating the 5th Prairie Tale, which will be The Enchanted Buffalo. The book won’t be out until next September, but here is a sneak peak at an early draft of the cover.