cover image Heartland


Diane Siebert. HarperTrophy, $17.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-690-04730-1

As with their Mojave , Siebert and Minor again take on the considerable challenge of treating land as character and narrator, with salutary results. Strong, assured verses and paintings create a vital celebration of the American midwest in its many faces, from farmland to town to cityscape. The ``patchwork quilt'' of fertile fields is dotted with storefronts and grain elevators; in turn, ``farm and city rhythms merge'' in the mills, stockyards and skyscrapers that rise out of the plains. Among these panoramas shines the quiet dignity of the farmer, the stolid serenity of his beasts and the majesty of the land itself. In less able hands, this could easily have lapsed into sentimentality. Siebert and Wendell skirt that possibility neatly in a paean which, reminiscent of the works of Carl Sandburg, embraces the harshness and wrinkles as well as the beauty of the land--a place where, as readers are reminded, ``Nature reigns.'' Ages 4-8. (Mar.)