cover image The House on Maple Street

The House on Maple Street

Bonnie Pryor. William Morrow & Company, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-06380-1

Where the house on Maple Street stands now, there was a forest 300 years ago. This simple summary of how civilization came to one backyard traces back through the years: an Indian child loses an arrowhead, a pioneer child loses a china cup and both turn up in today's garden. The difficult task of giving a fiction-like drive to this long impersonal sweep isn't quite managed in the text. But the book's greatest assets are in the dark-toned but lively panoramas of wilderness becoming settlement, and then an everytown ""Maple Street.'' As a preface to what children will find in the earliest school books on the American past, the book may help waken a historical sense, and Peck's rich colorings and details have strong visual appeal. Ages 5-8. (March)