Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails

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9780399229282: Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails

Mother, Father and Baby John are heading west! The fertile Sacramento Valley is calling, and the deep rivers, endless plains, blistering desert, and steep mountains in the way are not going to stop them. The spirit of the grueling and exciting life on those treacherous trails is enlivened by little known details (did you know the pioneers pitched valuables from their wagons at steep sections of the trails?) and an energetically appealing family.

Praise for Gold Fever, also by Verla Kay and S. D. Schindler:

"A rich vein of Americana, cleverly mined."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Kay's personalized approach to history is a hoot."--School Library Journal, starred review

"As an introduction to a vital piece of American history, it's wryly humorous and unflinchingly candid."--Kirkus Reviews, pointer review

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From School Library Journal:

PreSchool-Grade 3-Similar to Kay's Gold Fever and Iron Horse (both Putnam, 1999), this inventive rhyming tale makes American history accessible to young children. Using four lines per page, and usually no more than four syllables per line, the author describes a pioneer family's journey to California. The trip is exciting and spirits are high for Mother, Father, and Baby John at the outset, but as their voyage progresses, the baby grows into a toddler, prized possessions are abandoned out of necessity, and rough weather and terrain chisel away at the entire wagon train. The family finally arrives in the Sacramento Valley with little more than the bare essentials and a lot of high hopes. A brief introduction and simple map offer additional insights into the hardships of the trip and the resourcefulness of the travelers bold enough to undertake it. Done in watercolors and gouache on marbleized paper, Schindler's paintings are integral to the story, depicting the increasingly weary travelers and setting the tone throughout the book, from boisterous to fatigued to contented at the end. The staccato text and expansive artwork blend together perfectly to tell a riveting story about courage, endurance, and optimism.
Catherine T. Quattlebaum, DeKalb County Public Library, Atlanta, GA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Plying the same peppy format that powered their Gold Fever, Kay and Schindler once again head West: "Mother, Father,/ Baby John,/ Bouncing, jouncing,/ Moving on." The volume explores life on a wagon train headed for California through the eyes of one family. Kay packs a motherlode of information into brisk quatrains, whether describing a packing list ("Fodder, water,/ Guns and tools./ Clothes and blankets,/ Stubborn mules"), the itinerary ("Rocky Mountains,/ Massive, steep./ Rugged trail,/ Wagons creep"), or homesteading ("Building cabins,/ Clearing lands./ Rustic timbers,/ Helping hands"). Occasionally the format necessitates a surface treatment of the events (e.g., when the families have to lighten their loads on a steep slope: "Dumping, tossing,/ Trinkets, trunk./ Cookstove, treasuresD/ Now they're junk"), but for the most part her sound bites entertain as well as instruct. Schindler uses marbleized paper for his watercolor and gouache illustrations, creating a parchment effect that gives the pages the look of an old diary. From close-ups of the characters to sweeping landscapes of the rugged terrain, his vignettes and spreads brim with details. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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