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Ox-Cart Man Paperback – October 27, 1983


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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: 1130L (What's this?)
  • Series: Picture Puffins
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; 1 edition (October 27, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140504419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140504415
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 10.3 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful story, and great illustrations!
G. Jones
For this book, Cooney adopted a style that has a great many similarities to the kinds of outsider art created during the 19th century.
E. R. Bird
I loved this book the first time I read it to my three year old son.
Christina Tracy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Most books that focus on continuity and the circle of life/the seasons/etc. like to concentrate on that theme via animals munching on other animals. We sometimes forget that there are subtler ways to present this same theme. Consider the lovely "Ox-Cart Man" by Donald Hall. A 1980 Caldecott Award winner, the tale focuses on the yearly passage of one man selling his goods only to do it all over again the next year. Ultimately this is one of the most comforting books out there.

The book takes place in what looks to be the mid 19th century. A man that is never named lives on a farm with his wife, daughter, and son. The book begins with the family packing his cart with the various goods they have to sell. There are mittens knit by his daughter, shawls spun and woven by his wife, and birch brooms carved by his son. The book catalogues the items packed away in an oddly riveting fashion. Next, the man travels on foot to a harbor town named Portsmouth. There, he sells the items including his beloved ox. There's a shot of the man kissing his ox good-bye on the nose, which (when you consider the slime factor) is simultaneously touching and gross. He next goes out and buys an iron kettle, an embroidery needle for his daughter, a knife for his son, and two pounds of wintergreen peppermint candies. The man walks home to his family waiting for him and as the seasons pass they build up their items to sell once more. One of my favorite lines is the last one. "And geese squawked in the barnyard, dropping feathers as soft as clouds".

Those people who follow poetry will recognize the name Donald Hall and appreciate the simplicity of his writing in this book.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By skcteacher on January 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
The journey of a settler who packs up his cart with surplus that was grown, handmade, and raised on a farm in historical New England. The story takes the reader through what a family has to do to survive during this time period and what each part the family had in that survival. From a historical perspective an awesome book. With the love of history that I have on a personal note this story gives me clues to my own ancestors survival needs. I have two copies of this book one at home and one in my classroom. Very detailed illustrations, very accurate information on the settler's way of life and need for trading or selling off goods that the family helped make. The portrayal of the family with no electricity and providing their own means of survival. The story tells us that the farmer travelled ten days to reach the village of Portsmouth. I would've like to know which direction he came from, whether he had to travel from the south, the north or the west of the village. I would've also like to have know what he saw and who he might have met along the way.
Classroom Activities I do with this book:
Math - Seasons, Sequencing, Money, Trading/Selling, Time Art - Draw the seasons, quilts, weaving, looms, broom making, Science - Make candles, grow a pototo from a seed, make maple sugar,
Social Studies - 13 Colonies, Mapping Skills, Clothing, Occupations, Cooking
Reading - Write a sequel or pre-story to this book, illustrate one aspect of story or write about who he might have met along the way and which direction he came from.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have read this book to my three children-ages 3-7-almost every day for about three years. They have learned about how life was in the past. They now want to "start from scratch" when making everything.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Paul Burelle on May 29, 2002
Format: School & Library Binding Verified Purchase
I used this book with my third grade class in talking about the skills that our ancestors needed in order to survive. The book is about a man who takes a cart load of goods to town and sells everything including the ox! My students loved the ending, but I won't give that away. This is a must have for the classroom.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ava Esposito on March 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
This fantastic book depicts the story of an early farm family who raise animals, work their land, and make just about everything they need. That is only the begining! The story flows well, starting with a family working together preparing goods for papa to trade in town. It continues with papa trading or selling everything he has brought, including the ox, on which he rode into town.
He comes home bearing new items, along with some surprises to give to his family so they can begin preparing for another year, and yet another harvesting of goods to sell and trade.
Gorgeous color illustrations provide a glimpse into the more simple setting of a slower paced life, as well as a sense of the pioneer family, and the rewards of working a farm together.
My favorite part is when the man kisses his oxen on the nose. A[...] So sweet. But sad too, as he is saying goodbye after having sold/traded him.
He does return home to see hIs young ox in its barn pen, and in this way, the cycle begins again...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Resourceress on January 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
Between my husband and I , we must have read this book a hundred times. My daughter always found it a source of comfort before bedtime. Why? Who knows for sure, but it is a lyrical, yet matter of fact, tale of a family that produces all it needs to live on their farm that is reassuring and lovely.
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