GOING WEST by Jean Van Leeuwen


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A seven-year-old narrates the experiences of her family of five: setting out from their home in the East (Mama cries at leaving her sisters and her piano); leading the cow behind their covered wagon; building a log cabin on the prairie; the troubles of a first year (a failed crop and the loneliness before a neighbor moves in); renewed hope in the spring. Van Leeuwen's text is quiet and undramatic, but the details are authentic and well chosen to give the immediacy of reminiscence. Allen's gentle illustrations--charcoal, pastel, and colored pencils on a soft, textured beige ground--are the more evocative for being impressionistically undefined, with faces blurred and landscapes indicated with just a few suggestive strokes and muted but precisely observed colors: the glow of a candlelit fireside, the gleam of new snow under a leaden sky. A fine prelude or companion to Wilder's books, especially the perceptive illustrations.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0140560963
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Dial