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Ox-Cart Man Hardcover – October 8, 1979
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"Like a pastoral symphony translated into picture book format, the stunning combination of text and illustrations recreates the mood of 19-century rural New England."--The Horn Book. 1980 Caldecott Medal Book.
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I've bought so many copies of this book; I was a nanny for five years and any child who heard it fell in love with it, so of course I let each one keep it, finding a new copy each time. Then it went out of print just as I was having my first kid of my own. So I bought a used paper back copy. Then I needed yet another copy and the one that arrived that time had such peculiar, wash-out pictures, like a bad photocopy. This isn't a seller-feedback-posing-as-a-review: I'm only mentioning it because if you happen to get a copy and are underwhelmed by it, it may be that you got a bad printing. In a good printing, the colors are so rich you can practically smell the sun on the autumn leaves, the mist collecting in the hollows in the evening seem to swirl, the windows of the homes at night glow. I hadn't realized how much the pictures contribute to the whole story until I got a 'bad' copy.
Hopefully, hopefully, The Ox-Cart Man comes back into print one day. I don't think I'll ever stop needing copies of this book.