cover image Three Names

Three Names

Patricia MacLachlan. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (31pp) ISBN 978-0-06-024035-6

With graceful language and an uncommon depth of understanding MacLachlan ( Sarah, Plain and Tall ) offers readers a nostalgic view of rural Midwestern life at the turn of the century--a time ``when Great-grandfather was young, and summer was fine, full of long, warm days, and nights when the moon rose yellow.'' Unlike Cynthia Rylant's Appalachia , MacLachlan's reminiscence portrays particular characters. The plotless story artfully weaves into a seamless whole both the old man's tales of his childhood and memories the narrator has of his telling them. Newcomer Pertzoff's clean design and dreamy watercolors evoke the spaciousness and beauty of the prairie and its people as MacLachlan focuses on the year her great-grandfather begins school with his loyal dog--Three Names--and ends up ``dreaming away the summer. The two of them waiting for school.'' Another splendid addition to this Newbery Medalist's canon. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)