OX-CART MAN by Donald Hall
Kirkus Star


Email this review


Plain but pleasingly cadenced, concrete as the list of commodities that makes up much of the text, yet radiating a sense of life's cyclic rhythms, this tells of an early New England farmer going off to Portsmouth market. He sells products the family has raised and grown, sells products they have made from what they raised and grew, then sells the containers (apple barrel, potato bag) the goods were in, and finally sells his ox cart, harness, and ox, before buying some humble household tools and walking home (with ""coins still in his pocket"") to start again. . . ""stitching a new harness for the young ox in the barn."" Without Cooney's illustrations--comely and decorous scenes in the manner of early American folk painting--this might seem almost too plain. But she makes a satisfying, full (and eye-filling) experience of the everyday round, as she follows the farmer and his family through the peaceful countryside and the changing seasons--reflecting their unselfconscious accord with nature in her own seamless accord with the text.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1979
ISBN: 0140504419
Publisher: Viking