When Elspeth, a hardworking Puritan girl, receives a cornhusk doll from a Pequot Indian, her mother fears that Elspeth will become idle.
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Grade 2-4-Young Elspeth Allen, a hardworking Puritan child, sees a young Indian boy laughing and playing with a ball. She asks her widowed mother why she, too, cannot play, and the woman responds, "Puritan children have no time for play." When Elspeth meets the boy again, he makes a cornhusk doll for her, and the other youngsters in the village want one as well. Elspeth makes more dolls, causing a great deal of concern among the elders, who fear that chores will go undone because of the new "amusements," and they decide that she must wear a sign around her neck to name her transgression. A visiting judge, asked to decide what the sign should say, prints the word "Child" on the board, since that seems to be her only offense. He then orders that the children be allowed to keep their dolls. The book concludes with directions for making a cornhusk doll. Littlesugar's text is smooth and clear. Short, crisp sentences are packed with accurate historical data in a style reminiscent of Clyde Robert Bulla's work. Quackenbush's black, white, and yellow illustrations accurately portray the homes, gardens, tools, and dress of the Puritan village. An easy-to-read title that would make a splendid whole-language selection.
Dot Minzer, North Barrington School, Barrington, IL
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3-5. Widowed on the ocean voyage from England to the colony of Connecticut, Mistress Allen relies on her young daughter Elspeth to help earn their livelihood in their new home. Following the Puritan ethic, Elspeth uncomplainingly cooks, cleans, and grows corn and flax while her mother works at her spinning wheel: "Puritan children have no time for play." When Mistress Allen allows her daughter to keep a cornhusk doll made by a newfound Indian friend, Elspeth's "sinfulness" becomes an issue in the community. Youngsters are sure to sympathize with Elspeth and the other children in the story, and Robert Quackenbush visually reinforces the rigorous Puritan lifestyle in charcoal artwork washed with yellow watercolor. Instructions for˙20making a cornhusk doll conclude the story, which is sure to brighten late fall, pre-Thanksgiving story hours and studies of colonial America. Ellen Mandel
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Book Description Pippin Pr, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 945912226