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A FOURTH OF JULY ON THE PLAINS by Jean Van Leeuwen

A FOURTH OF JULY ON THE PLAINS

By Jean Van Leeuwen (Author) , Henri Sørensen (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-8037-1771-7
Publisher: Dial

 From Van Leeuwen (Blue Sky, Butterfly, 1996, etc.), a fictional look at a Fourth of July celebration held by pioneers headed for Oregon. They had figured on a journey of two months; after eight weeks they are only halfway there. The narrator, Jesse, who is a bit of a rascal, tries to follow the men up into the hills to hunt, but his father won't let him. He tries to join a company off to collect firewood, but his mother says no. With everybody else busy at some special chore, Jesse is without purpose and bound for trouble until he has a flash of inspiration: He and other boys transform themselves into a washtub-and-whistle marching band. Van Leeuwen infuses this feast day with a genuine sense of what a child's life was like on the Oregon Trail. Sorensen's watercolors have the blurred, dreamlike quality of faded photographs, furnishing the proceedings with a sense of events that took place long ago. (Picture book. 5-8)