Heartland

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Overview

I am the Heartland,
Great and wide.
I sing of hope.
I sing of pride.

Welcome to America's Heartland -- a place where the golden wheat waves in the breeze, where great rivers flow, and cornfields stretch across the plains in glorious patchwork quilts of greens and yellows and browns. Cattle graze in lush green pastures, horses and sheep fill ...

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Overview

I am the Heartland,
Great and wide.
I sing of hope.
I sing of pride.

Welcome to America's Heartland -- a place where the golden wheat waves in the breeze, where great rivers flow, and cornfields stretch across the plains in glorious patchwork quilts of greens and yellows and browns. Cattle graze in lush green pastures, horses and sheep fill the barns, and a new born calf stands damp and warm in the sun. This is the Heartland, where the farmer is king -- but over everything, Nature reigns supreme.

Evokes the land, animals, and people of the Middle West in poetic text and illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As with their Mojave , Siebert and Minor again take on the considerable challenge of treating land as character and narrator, with salutary results. Strong, assured verses and paintings create a vital celebration of the American midwest in its many faces, from farmland to town to cityscape. The ``patchwork quilt'' of fertile fields is dotted with storefronts and grain elevators; in turn, ``farm and city rhythms merge'' in the mills, stockyards and skyscrapers that rise out of the plains. Among these panoramas shines the quiet dignity of the farmer, the stolid serenity of his beasts and the majesty of the land itself. In less able hands, this could easily have lapsed into sentimentality. Siebert and Wendell skirt that possibility neatly in a paean which, reminiscent of the works of Carl Sandburg, embraces the harshness and wrinkles as well as the beauty of the land--a place where, as readers are reminded, ``Nature reigns.'' Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-- A hymn to the American farmer, to whom Siebert dedicates the book. Her poetry sings the praises of the landscape of the Great Plains, including the malevolence of nature and the human spirit which works against it to bring the land into fruition. In blank verse, the sentiment is reminiscent of Carl Sandburg on Chicago. The scenes on each page are isolated, grouped around the passing seasons, with special attention to summer, when the farmer's efforts on the landscape are most obvious. For all of the attention just given to the verse, the pictures are what dominate the book. With Edward Hopper realism, the watercolor double-page spreads, each framed with a black line, have photographic immediacy to them. On the one hand, they catalogue small-town life, complete with antique storefronts of the 1920s and 1930s; on the other hand, the cars parked out front are clearly late models. The pictures are striking and arresting. But the cow and nursing calf featured as the penultimate picture and on the back cover signal what is wrong with this book. It is an idealization and romanticization of a way of life that does not exist and never did. The pictures feature clean farms with never a flake of cracked paint, cows without manure, amber waves with never a lighting insect on them. The book takes itself very seriously, with its finely crafted pictures and poetry, but it's all so perfect--even the tornadoes--that it's hard to take the whole effect seriously. A book with such beautiful pictures is fascinating, but the glib glossiness with which the midwest is presented is just not realistic. --Ruth K. MacDonald, Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064432870
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 97
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 11.03 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Author Bio
Diane Siebert is the author of Mojave, a 1988 Booklist Children's Editors' Choice, a 1988 Notable Children's Trade Book in Social Studies, and a 1989 Teachers Choice, and Heartland , a 1989 Booklist Children's Editors' Choice, a 1989 Notable Children's Trade Book in Social Studies, and a 1990 Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts. Ms. Siebert lives at Crooked River Ranch, Oregon.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2003

    A thoughtful book for young and old

    Although this book is labeled for children, it makes a wonderful 'coffee table' book or a quiet-time book for anyone of any age. I've lived on and around farms, and am grateful for the dignity Ms Siebert gives the farmers in these pages. Wendell Minor's illustrations show the beauty of nature and the harshness. The cow & calf picture reminds me of a schoolmate's 4-H project, lovingly cared for, washed & ready for fair. This book gives 'city kids' a taste of respect for where their boxes of cereal and cartons of mild come from! My child loves to read this out loud to me. What more could any parent ask for?

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