Prairie Dog Pioneers

Overview

Like water on parched ground, Mae Dean's happiness dries up when her father announces that her family is headed west for a new life on the Texas panhandle. When she finally lashes out, the poignant confrontation with her father ends with his gentle words of wisdom and reassurance. Full color.

Because Mae Dean misinterprets her father's actions while journeying to their new home on the Texas prairie, she begins to feel that he ...

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Overview

Like water on parched ground, Mae Dean's happiness dries up when her father announces that her family is headed west for a new life on the Texas panhandle. When she finally lashes out, the poignant confrontation with her father ends with his gentle words of wisdom and reassurance. Full color.

Because Mae Dean misinterprets her father's actions while journeying to their new home on the Texas prairie, she begins to feel that he doesn't care for her anymore.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Papa and the rest of the family are excited to be moving to the prairie, but young Mae Dean doesn't want to go. During the journey, she becomes frightened when Papa risks taking the wagon up a steep hill during a rainstorm. She continues to sulk when they reach their new home, unhappily comparing the sod house to a prairie dog's underground den. When Mae Dean confronts her father with all of her disappointments, he convinces her that "land means more than almost anything" and that he was acting for the safety and the future of the family. Reconciled, the pair sing the opening lines from "Home on the Range" together (the music and lyrics are appended). The linoleum-block prints capture the dramatic sweep of the prairie and the story presents interesting details about pioneer settlements in the Texas Panhandle. The drama involving Mae Dean and her father is less involving, though. Readers get no sense of her personality beyond her anger about moving, making it difficult to care about her or believe that she would accept her father's arguments. The basic story succeeds as a simple fictional introduction to the topic, but the limited characterizations prevent it from being memorable.-Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR
Kirkus Reviews
Young Mae Dean is stunned when her father announces that he is moving his family from their home and manicured yard with the tree swing to the Texas Panhandle where they will have their own land and sod hut. During the journey she suspects that her father put her in danger during a nerve-wracking attempt to reach high ground in a ferocious storm. She nurses this hurt for several weeks until her father makes her see the lightþhe was saving them all from flood. It's an odd plot element when sustained for the length of the story. Although the authors express their enthusiasm for the Texas Panhandle in this affectionate tribute to a Harper ancestor, this is a fairly conventional pioneer story. Spearing's art recalls the charm of woodcuts, with stylized and tidy landscapes, structures, and people. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781890515102
  • Publisher: Turtle Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/1998
  • Pages: 45
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.32 (w) x 10.31 (h) x 0.44 (d)

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