Date of Award

August 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




Robert C. Dacey


Agriculture, Children, History, Illustration, Native American, Picture book

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities


This thesis aims to explain the importance of illustrating this Native American legend in a

children’s book. The Three Sisters is a timeless indigenous legend orally passed down from generation to generation over centuries in many different versions. The legend teaches many lessons: caring for the community as a large family, awareness of the sustainability of resources as a way of life, respecting the land in which they live, and living in harmony with the earth. My inspirations for this picture book are my family influences and childhood experiences with my extended family among the Haudenosaunee people. The thesis will explain the reasons for choosing this particular legend as a 32-page picture book. I will make my observations as to why this legend is relevant for children today. Observations such as the importance of learning about sustainable gardening, caring for our environment, and why this legend is relevant for the health of children today, raising healthy children mentally and physically, and the importance of children learning to be a community. This thesis informs the need to retell this indigenous legend for the knowledge it has held for centuries. Then I will tell the technical skills used to illustrate the picture book along with some artist influences. And finally, I will explain the choices I made in the layout of this picture book.


Open Access



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