Yellowstone Moran: Painting the American West by Lita Judge, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Yellowstone Moran: Painting the American West

Yellowstone Moran: Painting the American West

by Lita Judge
     
 

Follow Tom Moran on an unbelievable real-life adventure!

In the summer of 1871, a young painter named Thomas Moran joined a team of scientists heading for the untamed land called 'the Yellowstone.' He couldn-t believe what he found there'steaming cauldrons of sulfur, belching geysers, even a thousand-foot-deep canyon. Tom had never ridden a horse or slept under

Overview

Follow Tom Moran on an unbelievable real-life adventure!

In the summer of 1871, a young painter named Thomas Moran joined a team of scientists heading for the untamed land called 'the Yellowstone.' He couldn-t believe what he found there'steaming cauldrons of sulfur, belching geysers, even a thousand-foot-deep canyon. Tom had never ridden a horse or slept under the stars before, but the paintings he created on his journey from city boy to seasoned explorer would lead to the founding of America's first national park.

Trained as a fine artist, Lita Judge captures the wild and rugged beauty of Yellowstone in this stunning book she's wanted to write her whole life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In 1871, American artist Thomas Moran journeyed with a team of geologists through the Rocky Mountains to “the land called the Yellowstone,” observing and sketching the landscape around him. Judge’s watercolor illustrations capture the movement and pristine energy of the wilderness along with the team’s arduous journey over rocks, ravines and woods (“Tom learned to ride quickly. But by noon he was so sore from bouncing on the hard saddle, he had to put a pillow under him”). Moran’s “The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone” appears on the final pages of the book—a light-infused synthesis of the magnificent sights seen throughout. Ages 6–8. (Sept.)
Booklist
Rare is the book that makes painting seem adventurous, but this true-life account...does just that.
Children's Literature - Shelly McCoy
In the summer of 1871, Thomas Moran joined geologist Tom Hayden's expedition heading to Yellowstone, having never ridden a horse, shot a gun, or slept in the open air. Along with learning how to do all of these things, he gained the respect of the party with his watercolors of the striking landscapes that few Americans had seen yet. This beautifully illustrated book is timely with the recent documentary released about our national parks. The watercolor landscapes mimicking what Moran painted and saw as well as illustrations made to look like his notes, sketches, and journal entries paint the story behind the painter. The reader gets a glimpse into the passion and the hard work ethic of the artist—especially when he and the expedition photographer stay behind to explore the Yellowstone gorge and sketch it from every angle to later create a fourteen feet by seven feet painting. Hardships included having little food and having to make their way through dense forest. Moran also learned a new way of painting, waiting for a geyser to erupt with paint brush in hand (Old Faithful). The reader learns that Moran's paintings were shown to Congress when Hayden asked to help protect Yellowstone and make it the first National Park, which happened in 1872. This book could easily fit into a curriculum teaching history, art, or even journal writing. Reviewer: Shelly McCoy
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Thomas Moran was an artist/illustrator who, in 1871, left the comforts of civilization to join a scientific expedition to the then largely unexplored Yellowstone region. He had never been an adventurer, but what he lacked in skill he made up for in effort. His detailed drawings, paintings, and journal entries helped convince the U.S. Congress to make Yellowstone our first national park. Judge's account of Moran's adventures is interesting and engaging. Though somewhat fictionalized, it is based on firsthand accounts. Throughout the story Judge includes quotations from Moran's notebooks and from the journals of others on the expedition. An author's note mentions Moran's further adventures, but there is little about his earlier life. Judge's watercolors are done in the style of Moran's artwork. They are painted with energetic lines and the rich, earthy colors of the American West. A reproduction of the artist's famous painting, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, appears on the final page. This book does a great job of introducing a somewhat obscure artist to a young audience.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Kirkus Reviews
This story of Thomas Moran's bold adventure as part of Dr. Ferdinand Hayden's 1871 exploratory expedition to Yellowstone chronicles his challenges in his first foray into the wilderness and briefly summarizes his resultant success as a painter. Judge gently but humorously acknowledges his inauspicious beginnings: Never having ridden a horse, he jury-rigged a pillow over his saddle, much to the amusement of Hayden and the rest of the team. Together with an adventuresome photographer, he scaled mountainsides to find exceptional sights to sketch and then bring to life on canvas-a feat that helped lead to the establishment of Yellowstone National Park, the nation's first. Faux journal pages help to move the narrative along, accompanied by imagined field sketches. The author's watercolors effectively capture the monumental landscapes, accommodating at the end a gorgeous reproduction of Moran's colossal painting of the Yellowstone's canyon. The author explains in a note that she read the journals of Moran and the others on the Yellowstone team and studied his sketches and paintings to bring verisimilitude to her account, then added some fictionalized conversations. Inspiring. (Picture book. 7-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670011322
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/03/2009
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.70(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD900L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Lita Judge is the author of One Thousand Tracings and Pennies for Elephants and the illustrator of several more books. She lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

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