Debby Atwell, Author, Debby Atwell, Illustrator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-395-78568-3
Sounding a nostalgic historical note reminiscent of that heard in Donald Hall and Emily Arnold McCully's Old Home Day (Children's Forecasts, Aug. 12), this attractively plain story chronicles the life of a barn from its construction during the Revolutionary War to the present. The barn itself narrates, in an unorthodox but inspired choice of perspective by first-time author Atwell (illustrator of The Day Hans Got His Way): ""Life was all around me: babies growing, corn ripening, leaves turning, snow falling."" The healthy hubbub dies down, and the barn weathers hardships, as in the Depression, when it is inhabited sporadically by various hoboes. Later still, a fire breaks out, an event that is decidedly eerie since the victim is doing the talking: ""And there I was, on fire. Nothing could stop it. I burned to the ground."" Rebuilt, the barn houses horses and, despite the sight of a thriving metropolis in the background, things are much the same as in the beginning. Atwell's folk art-influenced paintings at once depict the changing times and the comforting timelessness of the barn's existence. Both narrative and pictures exude tranquility; in the closing words of the barn, quite content with its current incarnation, ""It is some lovely."" Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
Show other formats
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-618-15316-9
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-22585-4
Prebound-Glued - 30 pages - 978-0-613-44188-9
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.