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What is a Pictorial Ballad?

Children's Western

It's a combustion of two components: pictures and prose. Pictorials are illustrations that are created as a means to express emotion in art. Whether through paintings or drawings, these images are suggestions or interpretations of how the artist views the world. Ballads are narrative poems that are often expressed with sentimental or romantic flavors. Combine these two artistic styles and you've composed a lyrical visual.


What do the themes primarily focus on? Philosophy or history?

Both, actually. It's about critical thinking and the search for knowledge. Interpretations are as open as we allow our minds to be.

Is this genre designed for children or adults?

Both, actually. As with the Grimm's Brothers and Hans Christian Anderson stories, which, on the surface appeals to children with pictures and mythical tales, complex undertones can also be understood by adults.

A Historical Pictorial Ballad 

Running Horse’s visit to Fort Randall has a somber purpose: to assist the Blue Coats during the process of settling a peace treaty. While Colonel Bradley may be sympathetic in contrast to Private Benson’s attitude, there is mistrust on both sides. The intentions may be sincere, but the lack of understanding befalls an unknown tomorrow. Distance isn’t just defined by land and weapons. A truthful communication doesn’t promise freedom. Life unravels many trails. Which one will Running Horse endure? And which one will Colonel Bradley recognize?


I wrote this ballad as a way for adults to discuss the history of the American West and its mistreatment of Native Americans to children.  The themes to discuss are how two culture held distrust toward each other and how American culture ignored the value of the Plains Indians' civilization. 

Native American, Sioux, Great Plains, North Dakota
Native American, Sioux, Great Plains, North Dakota
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