On Top of Old Smoky: A Collection of Songs and Stories from Appalachia

Ron Kidd, Author, Ronald Kidd, Author, Linda Anderson, Illustrator
Ron Kidd, Author, Ronald Kidd, Author, Linda Anderson, Illustrator Ideals Publications $13.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-8249-8569-1
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Library Binding - 978-0-8249-8586-8
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Not complete songs but lyrics are collected here, along with three tried-and-true stories (e.g., ``Jack and the Bean Tree'') put into Appalachian dialect (Granny says, ``Here, boy, take this bean outside and plant it, and make you a bean tree''). Kidd's introduction, which adopts a cloying storybook tone (``Imagine leaving your home and your country and . . . moving to a new land'') but provides little in the way of specific information, defines the Appalachian heritage responsible for the volume's stories and 11 lyrics. Anderson, a native of Appalachia, adds interest with art in two distinct styles. A few pictures, rendered in deeply colored oil crayons on fine-grained sandpaper, have the lush density of a jungle landscape, while shapes are heavily outlined and seem shoe-horned into the crowded compositions; the majority, in oil paints on canvas, display the stylized proportions, flattened perspectives and busily patterned backgrounds characteristic of American folk art. The book's design is particularly attractive, with the borders that frame each picture repeated to set off the accompanying text. A gift set that includes a 60-minute cassette is also available. All ages. (Oct.)
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