Kirkus Reviews QR Code
MISS BRIDIE CHOSE A SHOVEL by Leslie Connor Kirkus Star


by Leslie Connor & illustrated by Mary Azarian

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: May 25th, 2004
ISBN: 0-618-30564-5
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

She could have chosen a porcelain doll or a chiming clock, but Miss Bridie chose a shovel when she boarded a ship that sailed to America in 1856. From the start, the shovel is instrumental in shaping her life. From digging a garden behind the hat shop where she worked to getting married and moving to the country, where she dug post holes for animal pens and planted seeds for an orchard and a cornfield, the shovel was the tool that carved out the dimensions of her life. Splendid, adroit woodcuts provide just the right rustic look for the period and supply details not mentioned in the text, e.g., the “Millinery” shop sign and the tools she used to make a new handle for the shovel (which burned in a fire). The beginning sentence is repeated at the end, unifying the story. A tribute to hard-working immigrants, but more so to a determined, hard-working woman who chose the practical over the trivial. (Picture book. 5-8)