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NEW HOPE by Henri Sørensen


by Henri Sørensen & illustrated by Henri Sørensen

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-688-13925-6

 A bighearted accounting of the 1885 founding of a midwestern town by Danish immigrants, as told by the founder's great-grandson to his own grandchild. The charm here is in the particulars--how Lars Jensen happened to settle near a river because that's where his wagon broke down, how the town of New Hope grew up around the ferry he operated there, how his daughter married the son of the German blacksmith who set up shop because of the ferry traffic. Likewise, the acrylic paintings are full of eye-catching period detail: a sidewheel steamer at the cobblestone dock where the family disembarks; gleaming brass scales on the polished wooden counter of a general store; the intricate arrangement of straps, chains, rings, and buckles in a wagon harness; the quenching barrel in the blacksmith's forge; styles of dress and conveyance changing as the years pass. An excellent introduction to the notion that history is an amalgam of chance events and individual decisions. The strong, weather-bronzed faces and lovingly depicted animals in Sorensen's illustrations for Tresselt's Sun Up (1991) are to be found here, also--even the same dog. (Picture book. 5-10)