Taylor Morrison reveals the history and making of the buffalo nickel through the story of its creator, American sculptor James Fraser. As a boy growing up in the Dakota Territory, Fraser witnessed the virtual extinction of the buffalo and the effect their loss had on the Plains Indians. As an adult, he honored both in his sculptures and his design for the buffalo nickel. Morrison’s striking illustrations capture the broad sweep of the landscape and demonstrate the intricate process by which coins are designed and minted.
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Taylor Morrison pairs his artistic talent with extensive research to bring readers engaging nonfiction picturebooks. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he has illustrated several books for children. He was born in Kansas, raised in Illinois, and now makes his home in Oregon.From School Library Journal:
Grades 3-5--This unique picture book recalls the life and work of James Earle Fraser and his creative design chosen for the buffalo nickel in 1912. Morrison follows the sculptor from his childhood friendships with Native Americans in the Dakota Territory and early exposure to various art mediums and styles through his formal study in Paris with Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his art experience in New York City. A resource for young numismatists, the book also describes the step-by-step development of a coin through the design and manufacturing headaches that accompanied the production of the buffalo or Indian head nickel. Morrison displays his talents in the brushstrokes of sweeping, cloud-filled traditional landscapes and faithful representations of Fraser's work. Illustrations of sculpture and adult figures in rich colors smoothly follow his historical narrative, despite occasional proportional irregularities in representations of children. However, the author brings to life the accomplishments of an often neglected, but important contributor to sculpture and American art in general. Morrison's concise summary details the design and production processes of coins while identifying Fraser's works.
Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX
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