Grand Canyon: Exploring a Natural Wonder

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9780439192781: Grand Canyon: Exploring a Natural Wonder

Wendell Minor, inspired by the paintings of early American artist-explorers, set up his easel on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and recorded his visit in watercolors. With majestic art and inviting text, Minor's book captures the grandeur of the canyon for readers of all ages. Full color.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-8-Following in the footsteps of artist Thomas Moran (1837-1926), whose luminous watercolors and studio oils helped convince Congress to preserve the Grand Canyon as a National Park in 1919, Minor?paintbox, sketch pads, and pencils in hand?records his own awareness of a genuinely splendid place. From his arrival on May 2nd, 1997, to his departure on May 14th, the artist describes scenery and emotions in a lyrical text and with the swift delicacy of an accomplished outdoor watercolorist. Readers see his paintings with their eyes and also picture in their minds the vastness of the Colorado River "...meander[ing] past like a lazy snake on a very cool morning...," and the poignant opportunism of a bee fly as "...He hovers like a small helicopter at the edge of my paint water jar and takes a drink." Determined report writers can glean snippets of data here, but stark data is not what this book is about. Like Virginia Wright-Frierson's A Desert Scrapbook: Dawn to Dusk in the Sonora Desert (S & S, 1996), this polished work enables youngsters to see a much-photographed natural wonder through the admiring, philosophical mind and the swift, careful fingers of an artist, a view as impressive as the subject of the book itself.
Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

In what Minor (Everglades; Red Fox Running) calls a "visual diary" of a 12-day sojourn, he retraces the steps of 19th-century artist-explorer Thomas Moran to capture the Grand Canyon in "on-the-spot sketches." At first glance, the reader may see little more than a closely associated but undifferentiated collection of watercolor studies. Paradoxically, it is the text that breathes life into the art. Minor writes of massive silence and constantly changing shadows, of the "rush of wind" over his head and the thunder echoing among canyon walls, of a scale so large that it distorts perceptions. Most particularly, he writes of the intimacies within the grandness: a bee fly "hovers like a small helicopter" and takes a drink from the artist's paint water; the once-raging Colorado River "seems to meander past like a lazy snake on a very cool morning." But while Minor's artistic vision is clearly defined, its very personal expression may invite a kindred response only from adult readers. All ages.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Wendell Minor
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