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N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims Hardcover – August 1, 1991

4.9 out of 5 stars 27 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Best known for his illustrations of such classics as Treasure Island and Robin Hood , N. C. Wyeth also had a successful career as a muralist. In the '40s he created a series of murals for New York's Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, presented here in all their restored glory. The paintings offer an idyllic, highly romanticized vision of Pilgrim life--the robust men and women and lush surroundings, for example, don't even hint at the severe deprivations suffered by the original colonists. This shortcoming is outweighed by the breathtaking scope and beauty of the illustrations and the glimpse they offer of an unspoiled country's bounty. San Souci's workmanlike text is well researched, accurate and packed with information. Unfortunately, it never rises above the prosaic, and ends up sounding like the soundtrack to a particularly didactic documentary. Geared primarily toward the classroom (the book is dedicated to the schoolteachers of America), this volume isn't without merit, but its lack of immediacy and sparkle will not do much to breathe life into the subject of history. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3 Up-- Wyeth's 14-panel mural of the early Pilgrim years, done for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company building in the early 1940s, has been handsomely reproduced (although never in its entirety) to accompany a spare but aesthetically appealing recitation of the legends of Myles Standish, Squanto, and the anticlimactic "First Thanksgiving." The figures are solidly rendered, as if cut from Plymouth's rocky soil, and wear the expected white collars, flowing capes, bonnets, and high-crowned hats. Readers are offered broad vistas, in keeping with mural design, but also closeups of significant objects like a full-sailed Mayflower or a flirtatious maid at her spinning wheel. The overall visual effect is softly upbeat and romantic. Even winter snow scenes are suffused with a heavenly light that must surely symbolize success. If this visual version of the Pilgrims is much more myth than fact, so what? The endpapers reproduce the Mayflower's passenger list that records the many deaths, remarriages, and births of the early years, ignored in Wyeth's paintings. San Souci's text, mostly unrelated to the pictures, does provide a modicum of information about the reasons for the flight from England and some of the events involved with producing a settlement. These bits of the record can be found in many other histories. What makes this book special is that it is to be experienced as a healthy fairy tale told with artistic potency and a strong sense of the human scale of the history. --Kenneth Marantz, Art Education Department, Ohio State University, Columbus
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product details

  • Publisher : Chronicle Books (August 1, 1991)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0877018065
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0877018063
  • Reading age : 8 - 12 years
  • Grade level : 4 - 6
  • Item Weight : 15 ounces
  • Dimensions : 9.05 x 0.68 x 10.84 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 27 ratings

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
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