Adler, collaborating with his son, expands his extensive repertoire of picture-book biographies of famous Americans with this worthy addition featuring Daniel Boone.
Beginning with the frontiersman’s birth in 1734 to Quakers who left England and settled in Pennsylvania for religious freedom, the straightforward text follows the same format as the authors’ previous biographies. Sprinkled with documented quotes, double-page spreads introduce specific events in Boone’s life. Descriptions of his curiosity in childhood, his job as a wagon driver for the British during the French and Indian War, and his constant search for better hunting grounds lead up to his establishment of a settlement in Kentucky (then still part of Virginia) and blazing the route from Virginia to Kentucky that came to be called the Wilderness Trail. The authors heighten the perils by including several Shawnee Indian attacks Boone and his family encountered, but they do not balance the topic by indicating why the Native Americans felt threatened. Complemented by realistic illustrations that depict the lushness of unexplored land and an attention to the details of soldiers’, settlers’ and Native Americans’ clothing and homes, the biography is still a good source for browsing and school reports. Appended lists of important dates and related websites, as well as authors’ notes, will assist with the latter.
The informational text proves why Daniel Boone is synonymous with the pioneer spirit. (Picture book/biography. 4-8)