TREE IN THE TRAIL by Holling C. Holling
Kirkus Star


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This seems to be a more credible but not quite as romantic a tale as Paddle-to-the-Sea (which by the way is appearing this season with a new and more attractive jacket). The aim is to do for the Southwest what its predecessor did for the Great Lakes. Again the pattern is launched by an Indian lad, who builds a protection of stones around a cottonwood sapling, so that the buffalo herds and the hunters will not destroy it. From that time on, the Indians thought the tree had magic power and brought them luck. And Holling sketches, in broad sweeps, the passing of history across what became the Santa Fe Trail, where the tree stood and grew and flourished, until it was more than 200 years old. Finally, lightning struck it and the next year two trail riders found it dead. Joe made himself a yoke for his oxen from it, and as he worked on it he discovered evidence of incidents through the years, things the trees had grown around and preserved. So he used these as a motive of decoration on the yoke, and its fame spread. The Indians in Santa Fe buried their differences as they looked at the yoke. And the spirit of the Peace Tree lived on, far from the place it had grown. Once again the format of the book promises to be sensationally lovely, in somewhat more muted tones than the earlier book. Artistically the jacket is better, but I doubt whether it is as good a ""selling jacket"" as the original jacket of Paddle-to-the-Sea.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1942
ISBN: 039554534X
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin