cover image Matthew Wheelock's Wall

Matthew Wheelock's Wall

Frances Ward Weller. MacMillan Publishing Company, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-02-792612-5

The building of a stone wall is the focal point of this succinctly told tale. ``Old Matthew Wheelock'' painstakingly chooses and arranges the stones ``like a giant puzzle,'' creating a wall strong enough to last ``years in and out'' so that it may be enjoyed by his grandchildren and the animals who nest within its cracks. Weller's beguilingly spare prose--only occasionally jarred by statements like ``this wall's my monument!''--is further enhanced by images of grandchildren who ``duel like knights and pirates.'' Lewin's unframed, full-spread paintings engender nostalgia--in muted grays, greens and browns, they portray an elderly Matthew in his workclothes laboring on the wall as vast expanses of land spread out beyond him. This thoughtful book, with its subtle message about care and endurance, will encourage readers to consider the legacies in their own lives. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)