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DREAMPLACE by George Ella Lyon


by George Ella Lyon & illustrated by Peter Catalanotto

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-531-05466-7
Publisher: Orchard

 In the manner of Lyon and Catalanotto's other visions of the past as immanent in the present (Who Came Down That Road?, 1992): a glimpse of the Anasazi as vividly imagined by a child visiting the ruins at Colorado's Mesa Verde. Moving quickly from the everyday reality of ``yucca, pinyon, juniper and tourists. It's all plain as beans'' to the awe inspired by the monochromatic ancient ruins tucked precariously into a cliff, Lyon's spare, poetic text is a dreamlike reverie animated with concrete details of Anasazi life. Meanwhile, Catalanotto's luminous watercolors, their edges artfully undefined, capture the desert light in a carefully muted palette with the effect of photos lovingly tinted by hand; the spread where the shadowy Anasazi and the modern visitors appear together is so carefully designed that the meaning is absolutely clear. A poignant conclusion powerfully evokes the hold that this extraordinary, long-deserted site exerts on anyone who has ever seen it: ``...and then one day / when even trees were hungry/[they] turned their backs/and let it go.'' The best yet from a uniquely gifted team. (Picture book. 4- 8)