"Ox-Cart Man" written by Donald Hall and illustrated by Cooney is a simple story of a farmer and his family. It will remind the adult reader of stories found in the "Little House" books or something written by Robert McCloskey or Margaret Wise Brown.
It's no surprise that Cooney was given a Caldecott from the ALA for her work on this book. Her realistic renderings of early nineteenth-century life in New England are amazing. She makes sure every detail is accurate whether it's the style of clothing worn by the family or the interior of the mercantile in Portsmouth. The colors are muted throughout the book, like the homespun clothes of the ox-cart man and his family and the landscape they live in. The seasons are captured almost as if the illustrator had taken a snapshot of a New England farm at different times of the year.
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