STEAMBOAT IN A CORNFIELD by John Hartford

STEAMBOAT IN A CORNFIELD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In 1910, the steamboat Virginia was carried over the banks of the flooding Ohio River; when the water receded, the boat was left stranded in a cornfield, becoming a tourist attraction and eventually requiring the services of a house mover to extricate it. Country-and-western composer Hartford tells the story in a ballad-like poem, illustrated with photographs, maps, tickets and newspapers collected from the era. The contemporary photographs are excellent, with reproduction sharp and clear; the sepid coloring gives a handsome appearance. However, children will need some introduction to the book, since it must be placed in a historical setting, the riverboat terminology is probably unfamiliar to most, and the poetic grammatical structure is complex. For children living near big rivers, this will provide a view of their own history; for other children, it gives a unique picture of an alternative way of life; for all, it is a reminder of the human struggle to overcome the whims of nature.

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 1986
Publisher: Crown