cover image Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story

Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story

Thomas F. Yezerski, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-34913-4

Judicious ink and watercolor illustrations pair with tender prose to tell the story of the Meadowlands estuary in New Jersey, which bounced back from being "one of the worst places in America." Yezerski paints a vivid history of the place where the Hackensack River meets Newark Bay, and where the Lenni Lenape lived for thousands of years. During the 1800s, the Meadowlands were logged and by the mid-20th century, it had become a sewage and garbage dump. With restrained elegance, Yezerski describes how the Meadowlands has slowly recovered, while nimble border art offers signs of the times, as oysters and Conestoga wagons give way to benzene, mercury, mobsters, and, later, the re-emergence of wildlife. The healthy comingling of urban and natural worlds in the final spreads makes this portrait especially poignant. Ages 5–8. (Mar.)