cover image Grand Canyon: Exploring a Natural Wonder

Grand Canyon: Exploring a Natural Wonder

Wendell Minor. Scholastic, $16.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-590-47968-4

In what Minor (Everglades; Red Fox Running) calls a ""visual diary"" of a 12-day sojourn, he retraces the steps of 19th-century artist-explorer Thomas Moran to capture the Grand Canyon in ""on-the-spot sketches."" At first glance, the reader may see little more than a closely associated but undifferentiated collection of watercolor studies. Paradoxically, it is the text that breathes life into the art. Minor writes of massive silence and constantly changing shadows, of the ""rush of wind"" over his head and the thunder echoing among canyon walls, of a scale so large that it distorts perceptions. Most particularly, he writes of the intimacies within the grandness: a bee fly ""hovers like a small helicopter"" and takes a drink from the artist's paint water; the once-raging Colorado River ""seems to meander past like a lazy snake on a very cool morning."" But while Minor's artistic vision is clearly defined, its very personal expression may invite a kindred response only from adult readers. All ages. (Sept.)