APPALACHIA by Cynthia Rylant

APPALACHIA

The Voices of Sleeping Birds
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

 ``All my people are larger bodies than mine, quiet, with voices gentle and meaningless like the voices of sleeping birds...'' concludes Rylant's introductory quote here: James Agee describing his family companionably sharing quilts beneath the summer stars. In her own carefully pitched, melodious voice, Rylant describes the people of her homeland--their hard work; their living conditions (often simple, but ``the houses in Appalachia are as different as houses anywhere''); crafts and customs, seasons and cycles. It's not a romanticized view, but it's affectionate (Appalachian people ``have no sourness about them...though they are shy toward outsiders''); adroitly evoking all the senses, Rylant makes it easy to understand why ``Those who do go off...nearly always come back.'' Adapting some of his exquisitely composed watercolors from documentary photos by masters like Walker Evans, Moser extends the aura of tranquil celebration. Richer, subtler, better crafted, but less dramatic than Siebert's regional tributes (Heartland, 1989) a special book for creative sharing.~(Nonfiction/Picture book. 8+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-15-201605-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1991




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