cover image SHOOTING FOR THE MOON: The Amazing Life and Times of Annie Oakley

SHOOTING FOR THE MOON: The Amazing Life and Times of Annie Oakley

Stephen Krensky, , illus. by Bernie Fuchs. . FSG/Kroupa, $17 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-36843-2

Fuchs's (Ghost of the Southern Belle) light-dappled, impressionistic oil paintings provide a dramatic backdrop to this picture book–biography of 19th-century sharpshooter Annie Oakley. As a child, Annie helped support her impoverished Ohio farming family with her hunting skills and, at 20, outshot a professional, Frank Butler, whom she later married. Stepping in for her husband one night at an exhibition, she became an instant hit with the crowd ("A woman who could shoot like Annie was a rare sight indeed") and her speed, accuracy and daring stunts—such as shooting an apple off her dog's head—earned her a spot with the circus, then with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, where she went on to fame and glory. Krensky (How Santa Got His Job) paints a vigorous portrait of this legendary sportswoman, drawing from her own diaries for the crisply informative text and afterword. Fuchs heightens the drama by drenching his canvases with layers of earth tones and touching the shadowy images with light, from the reflection on the glass balls Annie targets to the gleam of the sun through the high canopy of trees in the Ohio forest. "Aim at a high mark and you will hit it," was Annie's life motto—words which effectively describe this bull's-eye of a collaboration as well. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)