One Fine Trade
Bobbi Miller. Holiday House, $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1836-7
Taking her inspiration from an old folk song, Miller's debut is a jaunty story about ""the finest peddler who ever lived,"" one Georgy Piney Woods. When Georgy's daughter, Georgianne, asks him for his expertise to obtain money for her wedding dress, he shows his talents indeed. Georgy aims to trade a ""rail-skinny horse"" for a ""shiny silver dollar,"" but, in classic folklore fashion, he ends up trading for a brown cow, a hound dog and a cypress stick along the way, though he eventually comes through for his daughter. Miller leads readers through the adventure with drama (by way of ""a giant snake, a-shaking his rattle""), humor and plenty of backwoods vernacular (""Wouldn't ya know, then Georgianne asked, 'Dadaw, I surely do need a pretty new veil to go with my pretty new dress for my wedding day'""). Hillenbrand's (Baby Dragon) energetic mixed media compositions keep pace with Georgy's enthusiastic salesmanship. His weathered top hat, patchwork britches and polite demeanor make him fun to follow as he travels the evocative landscape, from the bucolic meadow to the ""deep deep"" woods. Ages 4-8.
Reviewed on: 03/02/2009