cover image You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks

You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks

Evan Turk. Atheneum, $18.99 (56p) ISBN 978-1-5344-3282-6

Splendid landscapes by Turk (Heartbeat) celebrate America’s national parks. In free verse that enumerates their natural riches, he pays homage to a number of parks (labeled in corresponding spreads) with the incantatory refrain of the title: “to the herds of elk/ trumpeting the arrival of fall;/ to the forests of twinkling aspen/ turned golden by the shortening days./ you are home.” The title phrase applies to park visitors, too: “to the child in the city,/ surrounded by windows,/ noise, and crowds... you are home.” In the text—and more fully in an author’s note—Turk acknowledges that the parks’ establishment sometimes meant the removal of their indigenous inhabitants: “to the child whose ancestors/ lived on these lands before the stars and stripes/ took them as their own./ you are still home.” In consistently powerful spreads, the artist highlights the play of sun and shadow over mountains and canyons with fiery oranges, deep rusts and cobalts, and velvety black. There are 58 U.S. national parks, and 22 appear here, from Yosemite and Yellowstone to Biscayne Bay. It’s hard to imagine a more fitting testament to their grandeur. Ages 4–8. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. [em](June) [/em]