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by Verla Kay, illustrated by Dan Andreasen

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-399-23345-8
Publisher: Putnam

With a minimum of words, Kay (Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails, 2000, etc.) uses lyrical poetry to tell the story of the journey of a Pilgrim family to the New World through the eyes of its three children. From the reasons they left and the items they packed, to the ocean voyage and the life they made in America, all are detailed in the author’s spare four-lined rhymes. The rhythm of the poetry lends itself to either a rocking beat, or a more energetic pace—a blend perfect for read-alouds. The gentle verses—“One room cabin, / Rush beds, soft. / Greased cloth windows, / Ladder, loft”—are balanced by the more frenzied: “Storm clouds gather, / Driving rain. / High winds howling, / HURRICANE!” Where the author uses a few well-chosen words, the illustrator details what the author cannot say. Andreasen’s (The Stars That Shine, 2000, etc.) lovely paintings are a gorgeous palette of soft tones and swirling color. He accurately portrays the difficulties the Pilgrims faced on their journey, and shows in their facial expressions the hopes, fears, and excitement they felt. A magical combination of poetry, history, and art. (Picture book. 4-8)