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Tree in the Trail Paperback – April 30, 1990
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In the beginning of the cottonwood's life, a Kansas Indian boy builds a barricade to protect it from the thirsty herds of buffalo seeking relief in the nearby pond at the edges of the American Great Plains. Generations of tribes of the First People gather at this high place & revere this lonesome tree.
Then explorers from across the world pass by with anger in their hearts & the pathway they find becomes the Sante Fe Trail. In time trappers & settlers pass on by leaving their marks, telling their stories.
This is the way I love to learn history: the ebb & flow of rich memories, evocative paintings & curious sketches depicting the passage of time & the tools of people on the move. Do check out my full review & other reviews of a host of children's books.
The story takes place within a span of 300 years. From the arrival of Coronado for the search for gold in 1540 to the establishment of New Mexico, Holling tells the story of a tree that lived over hundred years, but succumbed to age and natural destruction. However, a part of the tree was revived in the form of an ox yoke that two mountain men, Buck Smith and Jed Simpson happened to carve out from a portion of her trunk, and transformed it into a beautiful yoke. The unique aspect of Holling's stories and books are that he provides little side notes in the form of illustrations that are positioned within each different chapter that provide an additional historical interpretation of Indian, French trappers, and cultural life of the people that inhabited and ventured into Taos, Santa Fe, and Kansas territory.
History is a major part of the book. Holling illustrated and wrote the story, but also acknowledged his wife, Lucille Webster Holling, as a major contributor to the illustrations and research that was conducted about the trail and the map.Read more ›
We have read it several times.
The style was a bit cumbersome intitially, but they caught on and asked questions when needed.
On a summer road trip this year we traveled along the Sante Fe trail for a short time and they were so excited to already know some history of the area.
I do feel the author's condescending approach to the Native Americans seeps through in some passages however, resulting in a 4 rather than 5 star review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A favorite from childhood days. Finally replaced what my ex-wife stole from me.Published 2 days ago by Duckman 1968
Very good book, tells an informative story in a way where my son didn't realize he was also being educated. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Antigone
My mother-in-law was an amateur historian in Kansas, with a special interest in the historical trails across that state. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer