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Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails Hardcover – October 9, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile; First edition. edition (October 9, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399229280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399229282
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 10.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Plying the same peppy format that powered their Gold Fever, Kay and Schindler once again head West: "Mother, Father,/ Baby John,/ Bouncing, jouncing,/ Moving on." The volume explores life on a wagon train headed for California through the eyes of one family. Kay packs a motherlode of information into brisk quatrains, whether describing a packing list ("Fodder, water,/ Guns and tools./ Clothes and blankets,/ Stubborn mules"), the itinerary ("Rocky Mountains,/ Massive, steep./ Rugged trail,/ Wagons creep"), or homesteading ("Building cabins,/ Clearing lands./ Rustic timbers,/ Helping hands"). Occasionally the format necessitates a surface treatment of the events (e.g., when the families have to lighten their loads on a steep slope: "Dumping, tossing,/ Trinkets, trunk./ Cookstove, treasuresD/ Now they're junk"), but for the most part her sound bites entertain as well as instruct. Schindler uses marbleized paper for his watercolor and gouache illustrations, creating a parchment effect that gives the pages the look of an old diary. From close-ups of the characters to sweeping landscapes of the rugged terrain, his vignettes and spreads brim with details. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-Similar to Kay's Gold Fever and Iron Horse (both Putnam, 1999), this inventive rhyming tale makes American history accessible to young children. Using four lines per page, and usually no more than four syllables per line, the author describes a pioneer family's journey to California. The trip is exciting and spirits are high for Mother, Father, and Baby John at the outset, but as their voyage progresses, the baby grows into a toddler, prized possessions are abandoned out of necessity, and rough weather and terrain chisel away at the entire wagon train. The family finally arrives in the Sacramento Valley with little more than the bare essentials and a lot of high hopes. A brief introduction and simple map offer additional insights into the hardships of the trip and the resourcefulness of the travelers bold enough to undertake it. Done in watercolors and gouache on marbleized paper, Schindler's paintings are integral to the story, depicting the increasingly weary travelers and setting the tone throughout the book, from boisterous to fatigued to contented at the end. The staccato text and expansive artwork blend together perfectly to tell a riveting story about courage, endurance, and optimism.
Catherine T. Quattlebaum, DeKalb County Public Library, Atlanta, GA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julie England on November 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
With perfect rhyme and rhythm Verla Ray has created a gem of a book to be enjoyed for generations to come. I love it, my kids ask for it almost everynight, and their grandparents are buying it for all their other grandkids for christmas. We are so impressed with this book which teaches about a mostly ignored subject(pinoneering) - and the kids enjoy the ride so much they don't even realise they're learning! I could not recommend this any higher! I hope very school has a copy! A must-read for every American child!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LJ Singleton on November 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Verla Kay has done it again! She's created a brilliant rhyming picture book that works great in the classroom and is also a delightful choice for a bedtime story. COVERED WAGONS, BUMPY TRAILS is the vivid, touching, enjoyable story of a pioneer family moving West. Readers will fall in love with "Mother, Father and Baby John" as they journey in search of a new home. Their struggles and triumphs come alive in sparse "cryptic rhyme" verse, such as: "Plunging, slipping, Stuck in snow. Frozen wheels, "Oxen, WHOA!" And the art by S. D. Schindler is fabulous with colorful kid-appeal. This is a wonderful book that you won't want to miss! When you reach the final page, you'll smile at the absolute PERFECT ending.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laura Manivong on April 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book to my baby daughter years ago and she loved the rhythm of the words. Now that she's reading, I've rediscovered this gem and it's still as fresh and fun as it was then. A wonderful and unique way to introduce children to history and a life so unlike their own.
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By AKA on May 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 3 year-old just loves this book. Borrowed first from the library. She liked it so much we ordered it for her birthday!
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