Children of Long Ago

Lessie Jones Little, Author, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Illustrator Philomel Books $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-21473-8
Gilchrist's sweeping pastel illustrations summon readers and draw them into Little's affecting, nostalgic text about children in the past, who ``ate picnics under spreading trees,/ Played hopscotch on the cool dirt yards, / Picked juicy grapes from broad grapevines,/ Pulled beets and potatoes from the ground,/ Those children of long ago.'' These statuesque children are every shade of brown, from cinnamon in the sunlight to a lustrous cocoa that glows in the light of oil-filled lamps; a rural setting in the early 1900s is the backdrop for these transcendent and evocative images. A girl tells her grandmother, ``Your eyeglasses are pretty and thin and clear / With long gold arms that hug your ears.'' Another girl addresses ``Mr. Empty Woodbox'': ``How can Mama make a meal/ When there's no wood for fire?'' The answer is her own hard workshe runs off to gather wood. By turns playful and wistful, both text and pictures recreate a warm mood of American domesticity that readers will linger over. All ages. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-18246-1
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-27768-6
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-1-58430-008-3
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-99780-5
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