IF YOU'RE NOT FROM THE PRAIRIE... by David Bouchard

IF YOU'RE NOT FROM THE PRAIRIE...

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 10
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A fiercely protective, evocative view of the ties between person and place. Defensive from the start, this book attempts to create an understanding for Bouchard's homeland. Each page begins with the phrase, ``If you're not from the prairie...'' and follows with ``you don't know the sky,'' ``you don't know the wind,'' etc. In snatches of verse, descriptions of the prairie emerge, until Bouchard attests that without knowing these, ``You don't know me.'' In the conclusion, he modifies that stance: ``Unless deep within you, there's somehow a part..../A part of these things that I've said that I know,/...and then we'll be one,/For we will have shared that same blazing sun.'' Only in these last words do readers feel welcomed into the book, and it will be too late for many. After all, a New Englander will ``know cold,'' a Floridian ``wind,'' and a Texan ``flat,'' without any of them setting foot on the prairie. The intrapersonal pitch and repetitions of ``you don't know'' create a crabbed and beleaguered perspective, rather than a wide open, affectionate one. The realistic, intensely colored paintings show children boarding a school bus, repairing a bike, having a snowball fight. In part they reiterate the plain, forthright tone of the book, but make the prairie a place most people will recognize. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-689-80103-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1995




MORE BY DAVID BOUCHARD

ChildrenTHE SONG WITHIN MY HEART by David Bouchard
by David Bouchard
ChildrenTHE FIRST FLUTE by David Bouchard
by David Bouchard
ChildrenRAINBOW CROW / NAGWEYAABI-AANDEG  by David Bouchard
by David Bouchard