Buffalo Music

Common Sense Media says

Inspirational story of a woman determined to save buffalo.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Molly works hard to rescue buffalos orphaned when hunters take down the wild herds.

Violence & scariness

Hunters kill the buffalo off-page but some kids might be bothered by the orphaned buffalo calves and the loss of the herds.

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book is about a woman who saves orphaned buffalos when hunters begin to decimate the herds. They should be ready to field questions about hunting and conservation.

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What's the story?

Molly is a Tennessee woman pioneering out west with her husband, Charlie. She loves the buffalo -- the sights and sounds of them -- and is always listening for the buffalo music. But one day the hunters come and soon the herds are depleted. She thinks she'll never hear the buffalo again until a couple of orphans find their way to her.

Is it any good?


While the book is pretty long-winded for your average preschooler, the story is interesting enough that older kids and preschoolers with strong attention spans will want to listen until the end. Molly's strong convictions are inspiring, and her colloquial, descriptive narrative makes it an especially easy and pleasant read-aloud.

The grainy, detailed illustrations successfully capture the sense of the dusty, wide-open prairie, and the muted oranges and greens enhance the old-fashioned feel of the story.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the history behind the fictional book. With the help of the author's note in back, they can read about the woman who inspired the story by checking out other books at the library or sitting down to explore the recommended Web sites. The author even gives search terms to make it easier to find the information kids will need! They can also explore the history of the era and talk about dug-outs and pioneers, or learn more about buffalo or even how to rescue other orphaned animals.

Book details

Author:Tracy Fern
Illustrator:Lauren Castillo
Genre:Historical Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Clarion Books
Publication date:May 19, 2008
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:4
Read alone:8

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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