cover image Who Came Down That Road?

Who Came Down That Road?

George Ella Lyon. Orchard Books (NY), $16.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05987-6

The creators of Cecil's Story here offer a lean, lyrical text and shimmering, luminous paintings to produce an extraordinary picture book that both clarifies but doesn't oversimplify the difficult concept of historical time and evolution. A boy and his mother walk down ``an old, old, old, old road'' leading through the woods. ``Who came down that road, Mama?'' asks the child, and each turn of the page brings a time further back--the mother's ``great-grandma and great-grandpa, / just married and looking to farm, / they came down that road,'' and before that ``soldiers in blue coats,'' settlers, Native Americans, animals, prehistoric creatures, fish and finally--accompanied by a particularly dramatic painting--``questions crowded like a bed of stars'' allude to the mysteries of creation. Each spread complements Lyon's line or two of poetic text with stunning and evocative watercolors that are filled with light and beauty. Ages 4-7. (Aug.)