The author of Song and Dance Man (Caldecott Medal, 1989) tells how a treasured paint box, lost from a covered wagon early in a journey from Boston to Oregon, follows its own itinerary and is eventually restored to its young owner. The story here is unexceptional, but Ackerman includes revealing human detail about each of her characters while using the box's adventures to outline typical events in the pioneer experience: the journey by stagecoach; a river gambler who loses everything in a streak of bad luck; a prospector who makes a fortune. The coincidental reunion is more plausible since Araminta's father is a doctor who is given the box in payment at the end of its journey. Lewin's deft, scribbly drawings splashed with watercolor add a lively sense of the sturdy pioneers and the vast land they traversed. An attractive story for young readers to share with their younger brothers and sisters.