THE DIVIDE by Michael Bedard

THE DIVIDE

Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A picture book about what Willa Cather may have experienced as a child when her family moved west. Winter on the plains, on the Divide in Nebraska, was a mean season: ``There were no farms, no hills, no trees, only the flat, silent land beneath the vast, unbroken sky. She felt they had come to the end of things.'' But then came spring, ``like a shy child bringing gifts of flowers to the door,'' and Willa melts. As Bedard (Painted Devil, 1994, etc.) tells it, Cather delighted in the china sky, the fresh-plowed earth, and the few scattered neighbors: Swedes and Danes, Bohemians and Norwegians. ``Their speech was slow, their words were spare.'' The child comes to love the place: Spring slips into a hot, sunflowered summer, which gives way to a copper-colored autumn, the land ``strong and still and free,'' and brought to life in McCully's watercolors, which can be pensive, expansive, or joy-filled, as required. The metaphors are overtaxed (Willa marvels over the shells she brought with her from the East, ``so plain without, so pearled within''--just like her neighbors, just like the Divide), but a sense emerges of what it is like to be young and scared in a new landscape. The afterword makes reference to Cather's writings, but does not list specific sources for Bedard's text. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-385-32124-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1997




MORE BY MICHAEL BEDARD

ChildrenTHE GREEN MAN by Michael Bedard
by Michael Bedard
ChildrenSTAINED GLASS by Michael Bedard
by Michael Bedard
ChildrenSITTING DUCKS by Michael Bedard
by Michael Bedard

MORE BY EMILY ARNOLD MCCULLY

ChildrenPETE WON'T EAT  by Emily Arnold McCully
by Emily Arnold McCully
ChildrenSAM AND THE BIG KIDS by Emily Arnold McCully
by Emily Arnold McCully
ChildrenTHE HELPFUL PUPPY by Kim Zarins
by Kim Zarins