School Library JournalGr 1-4 Locker teams his considerable artistic talents with a story that touches both the sentiments and the social con science. A young boy, Mike, tells of his family's struggle to keep its farm going through another difficult year. The lo cal school has closed, milk and crop prices are down, and the boy's father is forced to take a factory job in town to make it through the winter. Mike's sis ter suggests expanding their mother's pumpkin and flower garden into full farm production. The financially suc cessful experiment allows the farm to continue for at least one more year. Mike's unadorned prose tells a very personal story, at the same time intro ducing children to the tenuous state of the family farm. While the text may be understated, Locker's oil landscapes are a true celebration of the strength, glory, and tradition of rural America. His now-familiar striking use of color and light is especially effective in scenes of the changing seasons spring's and summer's vibrant greens and yellows, autumn's rich browns and oranges and winter's icy grays and blues. Unfortunately, most real life farm stories won't have this hopeful an ending, but Locker's story and art are a well deserved tribute to this threatened life. Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, Wis.
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