Illuminating the ways in which the land can renew and repair itself, the story of a plot of land--called a paddock in Australia--follows its history from its beginning as a lava field through the arrival of Aborigines and white settlers.
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In this hymn to the resilience and dominance of the land, Norman traces the history of her native Australian ground and suggests its future. From lava flow and cooling rock to the breaking and drifting of continents to prehistoric life, the poetic (though occasionally fulsome) text whisks readers beyond the hairbreadth slice of human time into the grand proportions of geologic time. "And then, it seems only a few minutes ago in all that long time, people came"--with the people come "new rocks and lava of cement and brick and asphalt" that sour the sweet soil lying underneath. By tying the text to Australian particulars and by employing the blunt title word (meaning an ordinary patch of land) the author anchors the mysticism of her message--though her dense imagery will likely be beyond the book's intended audience. Roennfeldt's paintings, each occupying three-fourths of a spread, follow the progression of history with increasing light and definition. They move from dreamlike awe through the primitive innocence of nature to the metallic shine and hard edge of civilization. An ambitious if somewhat abstruse undertaking. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Explaining her eponymous metaphor for the earth as an encompassing word for land of virtually any size or condition, a well-regarded Australian author (Climb a Lonely Hill, 1970, o.p.) draws on mythic Dreamtime and on modern environmental concerns for a lyrical reprise of ``the paddock's'' history--touching on land's formation from lava and rock, early life and the age of dinosaurs, and changing continents before centering on primeval Australia and its two waves of settlers. After the Europeans (``The railway line came, like steel fetters, and chained the town to the cities...'') comes a distant future when people may be gone but ``small wild creatures'' reclaim the land. Roennfeldt's sweeping impressionistic paintings have an appropriate universality tempered with intimate touches--a koala draped comfortably in a tree, the precise details of the fast- growing town. Thoughtful and carefully wrought: a worthy companion to Jeannie Baker's Window (1991). (Picture book. 4-10) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0679838872
Book Description Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0679838872