Parent’s Choice Gold Award

Spur Story Teller Award – Western Writers of America

Notable Book – American Library Association

Reading Magic Award – Parenting magazine

Notable Book for a Global Society – IRA

Parent’s Choice Award

Gold Award – Oppenheim Toy Portfolio

A Best Book – Chicago Public Library

Book of Merit – Five Owls


“The work is beautifully enhanced by Nelson’s remarkable acrylic illustrations.”
– Booklist, starred review

“This makes inspirational reading and affords a glimpse into the heart of a renowned American leader.”
– Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A stirring, original story… the swirling images of the celestial dance beautifully reflect the story’s celebration and awe of the natural world.”
– Booklist

“An exemplary offering.”
– Kirkus Reviews

“The art enhances the text…a solid addition to collections.”
– The School Librarian

“This book is beautifully illustrated.  Nelson uses a rich palette and his fluid style and traditional Native American imagery complement the story exactly…Many will look up at their own, familiar skies with new interest.”
– The School Librarian

“ A well-crafted adventure.”
– The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Bruchac’s description of the vision quest is compelling…Nelson’s sweeping vistas…bolster the book’s visionary theme.”
– Publishers Weekly

“Sioux artist Nelson fills the pages with both action and quiet drama.”
– Booklist


Texas Bluebonnet Master List Award 2011; Booklist: Top 10 Religion/Spirituality Books For Children – Black Elk’s Vision 2011; American Library Association Notable Book Award 2011, 2001; GRAMMY AWARD Nomination – Best Native American Album – jacket 2006; Finalist – Western Writers of America 2005, 2011; Spur Award – Western Writers of America 2004, 2006; Reading Magic Award – Parenting Magazine 2000; Parents’ Choice Award 2000; Book of Merit – The Five Owls Review; *Starred Review – Booklist 2010, 2012; *Starred Review – Kirkus Reviews 2000; *Starred Review – School Library Journal 2010; Winner: Best of Show, Painting 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Inter-Tribal Ceremonial – Gallup, NM 1997; Feature Artist – Night Visions; Book for a Global Society Award – International Reading Association; Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award; Gold Honor – California Reading Association 2010; Society of Illustrators Annual Children’s Book Exhibition; Teachers’ Choice Award – International Reading Association 2002; Most Outstanding Children’s Book – Mom’s Choice Awards 2008; Parents’ Choice Gold Award 2002; Choices – Cooperative Children’s Book Center 2011; Judy Goddard Award – AZ Library Association 2008; Aesop Accolade – American Folklore Society 2008; Carter G. Woodson Award 2009; Eureka Gold Award 2010; Orbis Pictus Recommended Book – NCTE 2011

Exhibitions & Book Signings

One Man Show – Gammage Auditorium, ASU; Heard Museum (4) Phoenix, AZ; One Man Show – Minnesota State University at Moorhead-2004; International Rock Art Symposium, NAU-1994; National Museum of the American Indian/Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC-2006, 2010; Featured Poster Artist – Inter-Tribal Ceremonial, Gallup, NM-1997; Featured Artist – Night Visions, Coconino Center for the Arts, AZ-2006; Joan Cawley Gallery – Scottsdale AZ, Leona King Gallery – Scottsdale AZ; Barnes and Noble Booksellers – Bismarck, ND, Tempe, AZ, Phoenix, AZ, and Flagstaff, AZ; Hastings Books – Flagstaff, AZ; Castalani Art Museum, Niagara University, NY-2008; Prairie Knights – Standing Rock Indian Reservation, ND; American Library Association, San Antonio, TX-2006; Keene State College, New Hampshire-2002; Society of Illustrators Annual Children’s Book Exhibition-2001; New Myths From Ancient Legends – Coconino Center for the Arts, AZ-1994; One Man Show-Unity of Flagstaff, AZ-2005; Pueblo Grande Museum-Phoenix, AZ-1997; Indian Heritage Month- U.S. Geological Survey National Center, Reston,VA-2006

Lectures & Presentations

National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC-2006, 2011; Arizona Library Association Conference-2008; Keynote: South Dakota Literacy Conference-2010, South Dakota Book Festival-2009; International Reading Association-San Francisco, CA-2002; Festival of Books-University of Arizona-2009,2010; Keynote: Read North Dakota 2010 (NDHC); Children’s Literature Conference-University of Wisconsin-2001; Minnesota State University at Moorhead-2004; Northern Arizona University-1999; South Dakota Book Festival-2008; International Bilingual/Multicultural Education Conference, Phoenix, AZ-2001; Children’s Literature Festival of Books- Ottawa, Kansas-2004; Mazza Museum- Findley, Ohio (tour in AZ-2008); Museum of Northern AZ-2001; Phoenix City Library-2001; Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ – 2008 (2); Numerous Flagstaff Elementary Schools, Flagstaff, AZ; City Library- Flagstaff (2), AZ; American Association of University Women, NAU-2002; National American Indian and Alaska Native Child Care Conference, Phoenix, AZ-2004; Prince William County Public Schools, VA- 2003; Tuscarora School, Tuscarora Indian Reservation, NY-2008; Open Spaces Commission, Flagstaff, AZ-2008; Beautification Commission, Flagstaff, AZ-2008; Parks and Recreation Commission, Flagstaff, AZ-2008; Tourism Commission, Flagstaff, AZ  2008, 2009


2012 Author/Illustrator: BUFFALO BIRD GIRL, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, NY

2012 Author/Illustrator: GREET THE DAWN – The Lakota Way, Publisher: South Dakota State Historical Society, SD

2012 Illustrator: WALKING ON EARTH AND TOUCHING THE SKY, by Timothy McLaughlin, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, NY

2011 Illustrator: SKY BEAR by Nina Jaffe, Publisher: Highlights Magazine, PA

2010 Author/Illustrator: BLACK ELK’S VISION – A LAKOTA STORY, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, New York, NY

2010 Illustrator: FROG BRINGS RAIN, by Joseph Bruchac, Publisher: National Geographic/Hampton-Brown, Carmel, CA

2009 Illustrator: EDGE FUNDAMENTALS – TWO WERE LEFT, by Hugh B. Cave, Publisher: National Geographic/Hampton-Brown, Carmel, CA

2008 Illustrator: BIRCHBARK HOUSE, by Louise Erdrich, Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, New York, NY

2007 Illustrator: DANCE IN A BUFFALO SKULL, by Zitkala-Sa, Publisher: South Dakota State Historical Society, SD

2007 Author/Illustrator: COYOTE CHRISTMAS – A LAKOTA STORY, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, New York, NY

2006 Author/Illustrator: QUIET HERO – THE IRA HAYES STORY, Publisher: Lee and Low Books, New York, NY

2005 Illustrator: THE FIRST AMERICANS by Anthony Aveni, Publisher: Scholastic Books, New York, NY

2004 Illustrator: JIM THORPE’S BRIGHT PATH by Joseph Bruchac, Publisher: Lee and Low Books, New York, NY

2003 Author/Illustrator: THE STAR PEOPLE – A LAKOTA STORY, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, New York, NY

2000 Illustrator: CRAZY HORSE’S VISION by Joseph Bruchac, Publisher: Lee and Low Books, New York, NY

1999 Author/Illustrator: GIFT HORSE – A LAKOTA STORY, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, New York, NY