Homespun Sarah

Overview

Sarah's life in Colonial Pennsylvania is anything but easy. She and her family have to grow, raise, and make everything they need-including their clothes. The time and effort that takes means that nothing is replaced until it's absolutely necessary. As Sarah helps plant flax and raise sheep throughout the year, her one dress gets tighter and tighter. But in the nick of time, wool is spun, fabric is woven, and a brand-new dress is made just for her.

The details of colonial life ...

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Ted Rand U.S.A. 2003 Hard Cover New 10 x 8 1/2. A new glossy pictorial hardcover book. No DJ. Simple rhyming text presents the everyday life of a young girl living on a ... Pennsylvania farm in the early eighteenth century and who is quickly outgrowing her dress. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Sarah's life in Colonial Pennsylvania is anything but easy. She and her family have to grow, raise, and make everything they need-including their clothes. The time and effort that takes means that nothing is replaced until it's absolutely necessary. As Sarah helps plant flax and raise sheep throughout the year, her one dress gets tighter and tighter. But in the nick of time, wool is spun, fabric is woven, and a brand-new dress is made just for her.

The details of colonial life are captured in lively verse and glowing illustrations, making Sarah's joyful spin in her new dress an ending readers will cheer.

Illustrated by Ted Rand.

Simple rhyming text presents the everyday life of a young girl, living on a Pennsylvania farm in the early eighteenth century, who is quickly outgrowing her dress.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With her signature spare and crisp rhyming verse Kay (Broken Feather) introduces readers to the daily life of a colonial-era Pennsylvania farm family. Sarah and her siblings put in long hours that start at daybreak ("Rooster crowing,/ Water, pour./ Bare toes prancing,/ Chilly floor"). Sarah, the oldest girl, brings water from the stream, weeds the garden, cooks cornmeal over the fire (she even helps extinguish the flames when a spark ignites her mother's hem) and stands eating her dinner, all the while chafing under her dress ("Sarah squirming,/ Clothes too tight./ Laces straining,/ Woeful sight"). By book's end, the whole family has contributed to the construction of Sarah's new homespun frock. Rand's (Sailing Home) watercolors imaginatively fill in the backdrop to Kay's plethora of fun facts. He shows how the siblings dip the candles, shear the sheep, spin the flax, etc., and adds details of his own (a toddler tethered to a mother or an older sister as they perform their chores). The paintings also convey an overall lightness of mood, reflected in the characters' mostly cheerful faces. An author's note helps readers understand the details in this spunky, informative tale. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Colonial life is depicted in poetry form and is accompanied with beautiful illustrations on every page. Sarah is a pioneer child who takes us through a typical day of chores that are often accompanied with potential dangers. The lines in the poem are short, but the clever, specific use of words by the author gives volumes of information about pioneer life. Sarah's worn clothes that are too tight need replaced, and the reader gains insight as to what is actually involved in making just one dress. Children will delight in hearing this story read aloud and will soon be reciting the short, fun descriptive phrases like, "Outhouse, smelly, creaky, dark" and "Dirty laundry; giant tubs. Lye soap, water, Mother scrubs." This book is an excellent choice for the classroom and will become a favorite read-aloud. 2003, G. P. Putnam's Sons, Josephs
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Kay blends solid storytelling with historically accurate details in this engaging look at the everyday life of an 18th-century Pennsylvania farm girl. From shearing sheep to handsewing homespun fabric, the staccato verses and realistic watercolors reveal the hard work involved in replacing Sarah's outgrown dress with a new one. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A young girl's daily life in colonial times is filled with chores in the house and on the farm. For Sarah, it's often with her little sister tied to her apron strings. In Pennsylvania in the early 1770s, when Sarah grows out of her one and only dress, getting a new one involves a lot of work; the sequence of tasks is arduous: washing flax, carding, combing, spinning, dyeing, weaving, and sewing. Written in staccato rhyme, the period-specific words send the reader's eyes to the beautiful watercolor illustrations that expand the story. Rand's (Anna the Bookbinder, p. 302, etc.) traditional style and skillful renderings of faces and fabrics embellish the text, conveying a realistic picture of the Golden Age of Homespun, but the terseness of the rhymes tends to impede the flow of the narrative. "Sarah dressing, / Bodice, snug. / Ankles showing, / Long skirt, tug. / Winding pathway, / Singing lark, / Outhouse, smelly, / Creaky, dark." The breezy tone of the author's note at the beginning could easily have served to tell the story in prose. It's Rand's research (mentioned in his acknowledgement) that really supports the historical details in his pictures. Teachers will love this attractive window on the period, which provides many threads to different aspects of the time. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399234170
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 4/14/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.34 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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