Ox-Cart Man Author:Donald Hall, Barbara Cooney (Illustrator) Thus begins a lyrical journey through the days and weeks, the months, and the changing seasons in the life of one New Englander and his family. The oxcart man packs his goods -- the wool from his sheep, the shawl his wife made, the mittens his daughter knitted, and the linen they wove. He packs the birch brooms his son carved, and even a bag of ... more »goose feathers from the barnyard geese.
He travels over hills, through valleys, by streams, past farms and villages. At Portsmouth Market he sells his goods, one by one -- even his beloved ox. Then, with his pockets full of coins, he wanders through the market, buying provisions for his family, and returns to his home. And the cycle begins again.
Donald Hall has created a gentle story, evoking a quiet time in American life that is irrevocably past. Using a special method which resembles the early American technique of painting on wood, Barbara Cooney has captured the sense of peace of early nineteenth-century New England and the bustle of Portsmouth Market.« less
"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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