With four oxen and a covered wagon, Blue and his family are making their way on the Cumberland road through the Appalachians--a slow and arduous journey made by many pioneers of the early 19th century. Like children of any era, he and his brothers and sisters play along the way and are proud to be able to help the adults in their work. The quiet events of one day are climaxed when Father marks Blue's seventh birthday by planting a circle of seven trees in his honor. Hays celebrates the beauty of the mountain wilderness in sun-dappled blues and greens, using an effective combination of very simply defined, heroic figures, and a palette reminiscent of the Impressionists in his paintings. A map and a historical note are included. Low-key, but nice.