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Blackfoot legend in new colors; Star Boy, retold and illustrated by Paul Goble. Scarsdale, N.Y.: Bradbury Press. Pages unnumbered. $12.95.

By Cynthia B. Marquand / May 13, 1983



Amid the northern plains, near the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, an ancient story has been woven by a long line of Indian storytellers. Again, many a moon later, award-winning author/illustrator Paul Goble retells this Blackfoot Indian legend.

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''Star Boy'' is no simple children's book. It is a tapestry of color and culture, a tale of symbols and meaning, a story of how the Sun Dance - a dance of prayer and thanks to the Creator - became part of the Blackfoot tradition.

The son of Morning Star and his earthly wife, Star Boy must appeal to Grandfather Sun for forgiveness after his mother has been disobedient. Unless the Sun's blessing is obtained, Star Boy will remain poor and ugly, unable to marry the chief's beautiful daughter.

He sets off in search of the Sun, following the guidance of forest animals ''to the place where the Sun sinks down each evening.'' He journeys on - traipsing through forests of whispering aspens and pines following a glimmering path of light left on the ocean. Finally, he meets with the setting Sun.

Goble's vibrant artwork incorporating symbolic colors and composition adds a new dimension to this Blackfoot legend.