PRAIRIE TOWN by Bonnie Geisert


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This hawk's-eye view allows readers to circle over a small town during a year in which, at close inspection, apparently changeless streets and structures surrounded by flat horizons and ""uninterrupted sky"" yield up a host of stories, depicted in Lilliputian scale. Between one spring and the next, a carnival and a winter storm pass through, a house is trucked in whole, another is rebuilt after a fire, yards are cleaned, a wedding celebrated, a new tombstone placed in the cemetery, a jungle gym built on the playground behind the red brick school. Geisert uses ink and watercolor to achieve slightly finer detail than found in his etchings, in pictures that richly repay close inspection (but may not reward those seeking out his trademark pigs). However, the caption-like text can be eye-glazing and oddly phrased: ""The town and its farm neighbors are economic and social partners. They provide goods and services for each other. The back yard is a favorite place where families extend their work and play."" Still, the Geiserts observe and evoke the pace and rhythms of life in a prairie town with abundant affection.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1998
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin