cover image Together in Pinecone Patch

Together in Pinecone Patch

Thomas F. Yezerski, Author, Thomas F. Yezerski, Illustrator Farrar Straus Giroux $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-374-37647-5

Intricate lines and subdued tones give Yezerski's (Spy in the Sky) emotion-charged art the look of period etchings in this quietly inspiring tale of two immigrants' journeys to the New World. As its start, the artist uses effective variations in color and subtle details to distinguish both the landscapes and interior scenes in Ireland and Poland, the respective homelands of Keara Buckley and Stefan Pazik. Poverty compels each child's family to emigrate to the United States, where they settle in sparring ethnic neighborhoods in a dismal Pennsylvania coal-mining town. Though the two bicker heatedly as youngsters, by the time Keara and Stefan are grown, the drudgery of their lives has robbed them of any spark: ""the dreariness of the Pinecone Patch sky filled both their heads, and the gloominess of the mines filled both their hearts."" Love revives the pair, who marry despite their parents' reservations. At the wedding, the two clans come together--and dance both the jig and the polka. Concise yet lyrical, this is a realistic look at the American immigrant experience, brightened by a heartening dash of fancy. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)