I Have an Olive Tree ) picture-book biography records the reminiscences ("as he told them to me," says an author's note) of Mr. William"/>

Karen Barbour

Karen Barbour, Author Karen Barbour. Holt $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-6773-6

Barbour's (I Have an Olive Tree ) picture-book biography records the reminiscences ("as he told them to me," says an author's note) of Mr. Williams, born in 1929 on an African-American farmstead in Arcadia, La. From the unadorned language, peppered with particulars, a poetic simplicity emerges: "I grew up in a house made of pine with my mother and father and six brothers, five sisters, cows, pigs, chickens, guinea hens, turkeys, dogs, cats, and four mules and one horse." Readers gain a wealth of information about the era. The family received regular ice deliveries, for instance, and drank and bathed in well water because they had no electricity. Children will revel in details about farm life ("Everyone took care of his own mule. You fed it oats and hay and brushed it twice a day.... They'd roll in the dirt and you'd have to brush them all over again"), and Barbour does not shy away from the more unpleasant side of life in the South for Mr. Williams. Sometimes in the winter, as he walked to school, a young white driver would try to run him off the road. Barbour's exquisite paintings combine dark outlines, thick brushstrokes and startling colors (pink mules, a purple star-studded sky), occasionally integrating collage elements of intricate patterns. In her hands, the fields look magical at harvest time, erupting in blossoms and fruits. Barbour's meticulously rendered artwork and Mr. Williams' astute observations vividly dramatize a distinct moment in American history, well worth remembering. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 10/10/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

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 pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.