Gr. 3-6. Similar in format to Bial's Amish Home
, this book introduces readers to life on the American frontier. Bial briefly describes the clearing of land and the making of early cabins and their furnishings, including beds, tables, benches, toys, rifles, ammunition, clothing, soap, candles, and cookware. Occasional quotes from the diaries and reminiscences of pioneers add individual voices. Taken in full color at pioneer villages and sites in the Midwest, well-composed pictures of objects inside and outside of frontier homes appear on nearly every page. Concrete details of pioneer life will hold readers' interest despite the sometimes static quality of the writing. Bial's photography gives the book a look of integrity as well as a window into the lives of the pioneers. Carolyn Phelan
From Kirkus Reviews
In another lyrical yet precise text, Bial (Amish Home, p. 142) invites readers to imagine traveling by Conestoga wagon to an uncertain future on the American frontier. Bial details the daily life and concerns of settlers, adding immediacy with several quotes from early settlers, both male and female. (A few unfamiliar words--``puncheons''; ``flintlock''--aren't well defined in context; a glossary would have been welcome.) The presentation is enhanced by sharp, beautifully composed, unpeopled color photos, not captioned but well placed in relation to a text that's short enough so that the lack of an index won't inhibit use for reports. Bibliography. (Nonfiction. 9-12) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.