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Thrashin' Time: Harvest Days in the Dakotas Paperback – April 1, 2000
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4 Up-- Tucka-tucka-tucka-tucka-tucka--ss--ss--ss--ss--The sounds of a steam-driven thrashing machine have passed into history, and nearly from the memory of most adults. So how are children to learn about this romanticized fragment of American past? Thrashin' Time should fill that information gap, and provide much visual enjoyment. This is a startlingly beautiful book, painstakingly typeset, with white space ample enough to suggest effortless reading. The prose is colorful, but as good as the writing is, the real power of the book is in Weitzman's fine line drawings, many on a double-page spread, each one frameable. He includes not only drawings of the steam engine at work, detailed labeled models, but also extraordinary illustrations of people involved in various aspects of thrashing: the crew at rest, the man driving the horse-drawn mower, the women preparing the much-lauded noon meal. This may not be a book that children will pick up automatically, but, once introduced, it will be appreciated by a wide audience. --Lee Bock, Brown County Public Libraries, Green Bay, WI
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Peter (12) has heard a lot about steam engines, and he even saw one thrashing wheat at a neighbor's last year, but now the big steam tractor is coming to his farm. He and his six-year-old sister, Anna, get to stay home from school, but have to work hard--Anna makes 200 rolls a day for the hungry thrashers, while Peter drives the water wagon to keep the big engine supplied. Best, he gets to help Mr. Parker, the engineer, keep the engine running--and Mr. Parker even gives Peter his old engineering books as a parting gift. This window on the past depicts farm life in North Dakota just after the turn of the century, at the dawn of modern farm mechanization, with painstaking verisimilitude. The meticulous pen drawings of the tractor, separator, and thrashers are large, handsome, and full of engrossing detail. As narrated by Peter, the story is chiefly a vehicle for conveying a sense of time and place--food, people, tasks; still, here, too, the authentic detail holds interest. Some historical notes would have helped-- 15 storytellers are credited, but who were they? How much of the story is fact? And, though a carefully labeled drawing of the tractor is included, there are few technical details. All in all, however, an attractive book that does what it sets out to do. (Nonfiction. 11+) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
For those who never outgrew their love of illustration and appreciation of detail and find information delightful, grab this book.
David Weitzman has never been guilty of this failing. His drawings of machines could be used to build the actual machine and it would WORK!