The White Ox

Overview

Emily Swain Squires was so tiny at birth she would have fit in a teacup. Now she is ten years old and feels just grown up enough for her first big adventure. Emily will leave her family behind in England and travel the sea and across a continent to Zion, her new home in America. But Emily will discover that big adventures can leave you feeling small all over again. And sometimes you need a friend to help you get home. Author Ruth Hailstone based Emily's story on family accounts. Dan Burr's well-researched ...

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Overview

Emily Swain Squires was so tiny at birth she would have fit in a teacup. Now she is ten years old and feels just grown up enough for her first big adventure. Emily will leave her family behind in England and travel the sea and across a continent to Zion, her new home in America. But Emily will discover that big adventures can leave you feeling small all over again. And sometimes you need a friend to help you get home. Author Ruth Hailstone based Emily's story on family accounts. Dan Burr's well-researched paintings capture Emily's determined spirit during her long and difficult journey to her new home.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Myrna Dee Marler
The journeys of the early pioneers across oceans and the Great Plains of America are hard for children to imagine in this day of modern travel. This is the story of Emily Swain, sent from her home in England by herself at the age of ten to travel across the sea on a boat infested with a measles epidemic. Emily is to go to Omaha, Nebraska, and from there to cross the prairie and mountains to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1863 in the middle of the Civil War. Ostensibly traveling with two adult Mormons but essentially traveling alone with a wagon train and penniless, her job is to pick up buffalo chips for fuel for campfires. Her shoes wear out; eventually, so does her courage. Then, a white ox appears to keep her company. As she cares for it, she forgets her own miseries. When she gets to the Salt Lake Valley, she greets her uncle and turns around to find the ox is gone. Based on a true story of Mormon pioneers, the paintings are lovely and detailed. The book is a good reminder of the sacrifices and faith of the early pioneers which sent them in search of new homes in America. Reviewer: Myrna Dee Marler
Kirkus Reviews
From the vivid cover art-a ragged young girl runs, silhouetted against an orange sky-to the last double-page spread of the same child staring out across the Rocky Mountains she has just crossed as part of the great 19th-century Mormon migration, the art is the star of this book. Hailstone's serviceable narrative describes the real-life journey of ten-year-old Emily Swain Squires (her great-great grandmother), who traveled ahead of her family from England to Salt Lake City around 1863. During the hardest part of the journey, walking across the plains, she befriended a weary white ox, which gave her enough strength to complete the long trek. Burr uses a digital version of oil painting in Photoshop, applied to a traditional surface, to create 15 stunning and dramatic spreads that appear historically accurate in every detail. Children will be swept up by the lovely art and the tale of Emily's remarkable journey. A foreword provides background on the Mormons and Emily's circumstances at the time of the journey. (Picture book. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590785553
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 8 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.82 (w) x 11.22 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Hailstone was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and studied English at Brigham Young University. She writes and directs musical productions for local church and community organizations and homeschools her eight children. She lives with her husband and family in Cedar City, Utah.

Dan Burr was raised in northern Utah but went to the East to start his career as an illustrator. He returned to the West with his family and settled in the Teton Valley of Idaho, where they live today. He has illustrated a number of books for young readers, including Castles: Old Stone Poems by J. Patrick Lewis and Rebecca Kai Dotlich. He lives in Tetonia, Idaho.

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