Books by Thomas Locker

JOHN MUIR by Thomas Locker
Released: May 1, 2003

"Though lacking the finishing touches of a booklist, or even sources for the many quotes, this still makes a memorable introduction to a maverick spirit. (selection of quotes) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)"
On the heels of Walking with Henry (2002), Locker profiles another of our country's great nature writers, again including plenty of brief quotations to go with a set of silently eloquent landscape paintings. Read full book review >
HOME by Thomas Locker
Released: Oct. 1, 1998

"Nevertheless, from the East Coast to the West, the book shows how individual feelings about nature and home have shaped the artistic efforts of writers. (map) (Picture book. 6-9)"
Lush and romantic paintings of a broad range of landscapes illustrate the poetry and prose of a dozen American authors and poets, whose homes ranged from the Hudson River Valley to the midwestern prairies and beyond. Read full book review >
WATER DANCE by Thomas Locker
Released: March 1, 1997

"Unlike Sky Tree, in which science facts were incorporated into the body of the text, the paintings don't illustrate the text in any true sense, but sit on the page. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-10)"
Water in its many guises and the scientific process that commands the shape it takes—liquid, solid, and gas—are the subjects of this collection of paintings. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1996

"In fact, the frame (and Old Bear's overarching first-person presence in the legends) distances readers, creating a gap that the real beckoning treasures of this book—the tales themselves and Locker's monumental oil landscapes—cannot bridge. (Picture book/folklore. 6+)"
From the creators of The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet (1995), philosophical free-verse legends about (and portraits of) places across the US and the native people who hold them sacred. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 17, 1995

"An engrossing companion to Thirteen Moons On Turtle's Back (1992). (Picture book/folklore. 9-12)"
Thirteen poems and songs gathered from as many traditions, mostly about—despite the subtitle "Native American Poems of the Land"—stars, spirits, and the sky. Read full book review >
SKY TREE by Thomas Locker
Released: Sept. 30, 1995

"This handsome effort is ideal for sharing. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)"
In a series of 14 luminous paintings, the creators of Calico and Tin Horns (1992) watch a single tree through a year of changing seasons, light, and weather. Read full book review >
THE FIRST THANKSGIVING by Jean Craighead George
Released: Aug. 31, 1993

"The Indians thought of it as a Green Corn Dance'), this beautiful book brings fresh insight and a fairer balance to the traditional story. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 5+)"
In a lucid, graceful narrative that begins with the arrival of Plymouth Rock (a unique European specimen left by a glacier "In a time so long ago that only the rocks remember") and that describes the Patuxets' settlement, its devastation by white men's disease, and Squanto's tragic captivity before going on to the Puritan venture, George returns—in specific, unsentimental detail—to the real historical events, quietly emphasizing the Native Americans' relationship with the land and the many things they taught the newcomers about using its bounty. Read full book review >
CALICO AND TIN HORNS by Candace Christiansen
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"Still, a valuable footnote to history, handsomely presented. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The most interesting thing about this book is the incident that inspired it: an 1844 Boston Tea Party-style rebellion of Hudson Valley farmers against landlords still dishonoring their predecessors' promise to sell land to Revolutionary War veterans. Read full book review >
Released: March 25, 1992

"Folklorist Bruchac and poet London work together on brief, dignified retellings of Native American legends for the accompanying text, properly pointing out in an afterword that tribes in different areas see different seasonal patterns and hold different beliefs. (Poetry/Folklore. 7-9)"
From a velvety moonlit wetland scene in "Big Moon" to the glory of a deciduous forest in the "Moon of Falling Leaves," Locker once again proves himself a gifted landscape artist. Read full book review >
CATSKILL EAGLE by Herman Melville
Released: Sept. 18, 1991

"A book that lends itself to creative links: try it with Mayne's more astringent portrait in his extraordinary fantasy novel, Antar and the Eagles (1990). (Picture book. 5+)*justify no*"
The brief, metaphorical text here—an unabridged excerpt from Moby-Dick—links a soaring eagle to human experience: ``And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces...even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than the other birds...'' Wisely omitting nonessential detail while centering on the effects of light and mist, Locker matches the resonant words with his loveliest illustrations to date, the full spreads—from a violet dawn to a gorgeous crimson sunset—providing romantic backdrops for the noble bird with its young in the nest, catching a fish in a mountain stream, or soaring free. Read full book review >
THE LAND OF GRAY WOLF by Thomas Locker
Released: May 1, 1991

"Not actively bad, but lifeless and annoyingly pretentious. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Again, Locker has skillfully painted a series of landscapes in the manner of the Hudson River masters, then added some wooden figures plus a contrived story reflecting a social conscience: in this case, a lightly fictionalized account of white men stealing land from Indians who knew how to value it as they found it. Read full book review >