One More Acornby Don Freeman, Roy Freeman
When beloved and award-winning picture-book author and illustrator Don Freeman died in 1978, his son, Roy, inherited his father's vast archive of art and stories. In that treasure trove, Roy recently discovered some artwork and a story set in Washington, D.C., about a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter. The project was promising but unfinished, so Roy decided
When beloved and award-winning picture-book author and illustrator Don Freeman died in 1978, his son, Roy, inherited his father's vast archive of art and stories. In that treasure trove, Roy recently discovered some artwork and a story set in Washington, D.C., about a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter. The project was promising but unfinished, so Roy decided to partner with his father-thirty years after his death-to bring the book to life.
One More Acorn is more than an adorable, heartwarming story about a squirrel looking for that one last acorn-it's a son's homage to his father. And having an all-new original Don Freeman picture book is a true publishing event.
Still no more than a rough draft despite being buffed up by an editor, Freeman's son and a second illustrator, Jody Wheeler, this sketchy tale of a Washington, D.C., squirrel rooting through autumn leaves for acorns buried "last summer" should have stayed in the trunk. Crossing a broad avenue and scurrying through an open gate—"which," as the wooden text has it, "is something not every visitor can do, you may be certain"—Earl the squirrel scampers about the Mall, past other squirrels and a group of children planting trees. In what passes for the climax, a parade turns out to be only a temporary obstacle to his final sortie, as the same children hold up their hands so he can make the leap back across the street and home to a "Well done, my dear," from his wife. Perky squirrels and several familiar D.C. monuments in the backgrounds give the broadly brushed art some visual interest, but not enough to compensate for the stiff prose and negligible plot. A disappointment, particularly after the likewise posthumous but far more finished Manuelo the Playing Mantis (2004). (afterword) (Picture book. 5-7)
- Penguin Young Readers Group
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 10.88(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.37(d)
- Age Range:
- 3 - 5 Years
Meet the Author
Don Freeman was born in San Diego, California, in 1908. At an early age, he received a trumpet as a gift from his father. He practiced obsessively and eventually joined a California danceband. After graduating from high school, he ventured to New York City to study art under the tutelage of Joan Sloan and Harry Wickey at the Art Students' League. He managed to support himself throughout his schooling by playing his trumpet evenings, in nightclubs and at weddings.
Gradually, he eased into making a living sketching impressions of Broadway shows for The New York Times and The Herald Tribune. This shift was helped along, in no small part, by a rather heartbreaking incident; he lost his trumpet. One evening, he was so engrossed in sketching people on the subway, he simply forgot it was sitting on the seat beside him. This new career turned out to be a near-perfect fit for Don, though, as he had always loved the theater.
He was introduced to the world of Childrens' Literature, when William Saroyan asked him to illustrate several books. Soon after, he began to write and illustrate his own books, a career he settled into comfortably and happily. Through his writing, he was able to create his own theater: "I love the flow of turning the pages, the suspense of what's next. Ideas just come at me and after me. It's all so natural. I work all the time, long into the night, and it's such a pleasure. I don't know when the time ends. I've never been happier in my life!"
Don died in 1978, after a long and successful career. He created many beloved characters in his lifetime, perhaps the most beloved among them a stuffed, overall-wearing bear, named Corduroy.
Don Freeman was the author and illustrator of many popularbooks for children, including Corduroy, A Pocket for Corduroy, and theCaldecott Honor Book Fly High, Fly Low. For more information about Don Freeman, please visit:
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