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by Ellen Howard & illustrated by Ronald Himler

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2002
ISBN: 0-8234-1740-9
Publisher: Holiday House

A young girl comes to understand the meaning of church in this newest Log Cabin treat (Log Cabin Quilt, 1997, etc.). “ ‘Come spring, we’ll see about buildin’ a church,’ my pap had said at Christmastime.” Granny desperately wants a church, but people are few in Michigan, and the life of a pioneer family is not an easy one. When Elvirey has trouble remembering what church is, her siblings touchingly try to alleviate her bewilderment—church is where you look at pretty girls and sing songs at Christmastime. In the spring, more people arrive and Pap thinks about building the building . . . but clearing the land, plowing, and planting the crops come first. Finally, on a Sunday morning in summer, Pap takes the day off and dresses in his Sabbath clothes. The neighbors gradually gather, sharing food, conversation, advice, and companionship. And as the last notes of song die away and the worshipers bow their heads to ask the blessing over the meal, it doesn’t seem to matter that there is no physical sanctuary. Elvirey remembers all at once what church really is. For those unfamiliar with this pioneer family, Howard has Elvirey recall burying her mother and moving to Michigan from Carolina. Himler’s pencil-and-watercolor illustrations accurately show the life led by the pioneers and add to the enjoyment of the story and the understanding of the period. An effort doubly blessed. (Picture book. 4-8)