Liz Smith

“We can always use a brand new legend in this old world and now we have one- ‘The Calico Buffalo’. Combining a kind of Native American aura with a fable of the newborn who is different from the rest of the herd or tribe. This is a charmingly painted story punctuated with beautiful poetry. It is a life lesson calling us to decency and tolerance and the right to be or look or feel odd and strange. ‘The Calico Buffalo’ will clutch your heart even as its villain, Thorn, catches your imagination.
Bravo to EJ Stapleton!”

Liz Smith, syndicated columnist

Kendal Rautzhan

“A magical, profound fable told in rhyme, The Calico Buffalo contains powerful, important messages for young and old alike. Universal and timeless issues of ignorance, prejudice, tolerance, diversity, forgiveness, wisdom and much more, this recommendation is essential for the world we live in. Perfectly complemented by expressive, beautiful illustrations, The Calico Buffalo is a MUST-READ.”

Kendal Rautzhan, syndicated columnist

Georgia Family

For all ages. This fable, stronger, longer and more eloquent than those of Aesop, is written in rhymed verse which at times reaches splendid poetry. When a newborn buffalo, different from the rest of the herd or tribe, is born to the Chief, he is used as an instrument of hate by Thorn, the archenemy. EJ Stapleton’s ‘The Calico Buffalo’ is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and intelligently written children’s books I’ve seen since the writings of Shel Silverstein. This carefully crafted book holds the capability of opening both the minds and hearts of children and adults alike. ‘The Calico Buffalo makes an invaluable contribution to our society. It calls its readers to a higher plane of social and ethical consciousness without a trace of tedious moralizing. Stapleton takes his readers on an emotional journey as he explores what it can mean to be different, what it means to be an individual, and what it means to find true compassion. He shows his readers how one can take the cruelties that one has both experienced and been guilty of inflicting upon others, and manage to turn life’s lessons into an unexpectedly beautiful gift. Stapleton’s buffalos are brought to life with his moving artwork. Within the thirty softly colorful illustrations, the buffalos have expressive eyes that lends them humanity, which is, after all, the very paralell that Stapleton seems to have intended.

Georgia Family Magazine
Book of the Year,
2002 Editor’s Choice Award

Midwest Book Review
Five Stars

“Very Highly Recommended”

The Midwest Book Review

KUCI Irvine

“Your extraordinary fable, The Calico Buffalo, is a soul-warming book that intuitively draws adults and children into the land that “is, was, and can be.” I enjoyed the journey and the celebration of life and diversity that was at the heart of your beautiful story.”

Deborah Keith, “Trend Talk” – KUCI-FM

Rick Winterson

“A Whacking Good Tale”

Rick Winterson, South Boston Online


“Never has such a serious and vital topic been explored in such a beautiful way. The Calico Buffalo is exquisitely presented in verse and illustration.”

Parenting Consultation Services

Jill Lawrence

“The wisdom in “The Calico Buffalo” is directly applicable to the place we find ourselves after the events of September 11, 2001”

Jill Lawrence, Wisdom Radio

Alan Caruba

“The Calico Buffalo … It’s just Grand”

Alan Caruba, Bookviews

Jennifer B Leese

“Stapleton’s book ‘The Calico Buffalo’ will give you hope and fill you with joy. I loved it.”

Jennifer LB Leese, A Storyweaver’s Book Reviews 

My Shelf

“It’s Marvelous! Surely a classic in the making”

Beverly Rowe,

Michelle Kennedy

“The Calico Buffalo is a Dream!”

Michelle Kennedy, The Green Bay News-Chronicle

Sun Chronicle

“A modern day Aesop’s for children!”

The Sun Chronicle

Marge Robbins
Five Stars

“Five Stars! A very delightful fable of love and acceptance.”

Marge Robins

ABQ Arts

“The Calico Buffalo is an uplifting literary experience”

ABQ Arts Magazine

Anniston Star

“Truly a rare find in the world of children’s literature.”

The Anniston Star


“A pleasure to behold”

Nautilus Award Finalist

The NAPRA ReView

Concerning Women

“The Calico Buffalo- A Tiny Champion for All People!”

Children's Literature

“Truly magical. A lyrical pleasure.”

The Children’s Literature Newsletter

Standard Times

“Very highly recommended”

The Standard Times

Barnes Noble

Webster’s dictionary defines fable as “a short tale used to teach a moral, often with animals as characters.” There is no doubt that The Calico Buffalo fits this definition, and yet it is so much more. The plot involves a clan of buffalo who find within their tribe a newborn calf who is calico in color. In spite of the parent’s attempts to hide him, for this peculiarity, the clan is persuaded by an evil member, Thorn, to consider banishing him from the herd. The story proceeds to describe a journey the clan makes to consult the wise Ancient buffalo over this dilemma. This is truly a magical poem that spins a tale, lengthy for sure, but worth the time it takes to read every word. The writing, from one verse to the next, is a lyrical pleasure whether read aloud or silently. The content captures the attention of child and adult alike and rewards the reader with a meaningful ending. The evildoer is not banished or punished as is common in such tales. Instead, he is transformed by the lessons he learns into a compassionate member of the clan. In the modern world, that would surely be a happy ending.

Kathleen Orosz, Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database

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