January 20, 2009

That Book Woman by Heather Henson, illus by David Small

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 5:47 pm by suebe2

bookwomanIn honor of today — a book about what determined people can do. 

That Book Woman  (AR 4. 3 )

by Heather Henson

illustrated by David Small

Atheneum Books for Young Readers


What does this book have to do with Obama’s inauguration?  Both are so full of hope, they made me cry even though I swore I wouldn’t. 

As part of the WPA, Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt sent librarians on horseback into the Appalachian Mountains.  He sent them places where there were no roads.  Where schools were inaccessible.  Where people still bartered for what they needed with a poke of berries or a treasured recipe. 

The narrator is a young boy who already does a full days work while his sister props her feet up, nosing at the chicken scratches in a book.  He doesn’t have the time for the silliness of made up stories until the Book Woman impresses him with her bravery, riding up the mountain in a snow storm.  What could make her take such a risk? The only way to find out is to turn to his kid sister for help.

Small’s ink, watercolor and chalk illustrations are reminiscent of comic book art, duplicating that forms emotion, expression and vitality although his color work is somewhat more subtle.

When the time comes to bid farewell to a favorite teacher at the end of the school year, this book would make an excellent gift. 


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