From Publishers Weekly
As in their previous collaboration Who Came Down That Road? , Lyon and Catalanotto here offer an atmospheric, shimmering glance backwards--this time at the Anasazi pueblos at Mesa Verde. Although Lyon's poem is told from the point of view and in the tone of a reflective adult, Catalanotto wisely focuses the story through his luminous paintings on the experiences of a girl who visits the canyon as a tourist. She imagines--as if she were dreaming, seeing through the scrim of historical time--the Pueblo people who 800 years before "plaited sandals, wove baskets / coiled clay into pots." Then, "one day / when even trees were hungry / they turned their backs" on their cliff dwellings "leaving us / far in the future" standing "amazed / at the people / who built this dream / who lit its walls / with fire and stories." In both style and content, the lyrical text may be a bit sophisticated for young readers, but Catalanotto's extraordinary watercolors clarify this journey through time. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
In the manner of Lyon and Catalanotto's other visions of the past as immanent in the present (Who Came Down That Road?, 1992): a glimpse of the Anasazi as vividly imagined by a child visiting the ruins at Colorado's Mesa Verde. Moving quickly from the everyday reality of ``yucca, pinyon, juniper and tourists. It's all plain as beans'' to the awe inspired by the monochromatic ancient ruins tucked precariously into a cliff, Lyon's spare, poetic text is a dreamlike reverie animated with concrete details of Anasazi life. Meanwhile, Catalanotto's luminous watercolors, their edges artfully undefined, capture the desert light in a carefully muted palette with the effect of photos lovingly tinted by hand; the spread where the shadowy Anasazi and the modern visitors appear together is so carefully designed that the meaning is absolutely clear. A poignant conclusion powerfully evokes the hold that this extraordinary, long-deserted site exerts on anyone who has ever seen it: ``...and then one day / when even trees were hungry/[they] turned their backs/and let it go.'' The best yet from a uniquely gifted team. (Picture book. 4- 8) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.