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Prairie Primer: A to Z Back to Books

Prairie Primer: A to Z

A rhythmic alphabet book captures the flavor and feeling of the early American midwest with scenes from a year in the life of a homesteader family that include such images as a butter churn, knickers, and a sewing circle.

Book Details
Age Range: 5 – 6 years
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1st edition (October 1, 1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0525451633
ISBN-13: 978-0525451631
Product Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

Prairie Primer: A to Z Editorial Reviews Review
It’s as easy as 1-2-3 to learn your ABCs in Caroline Stutson’s Prairie Primer: A to Z. Set at the start of the twentieth century, this ode to the alphabet follows a family’s homesteading experience in the American Midwest. Many charming elements of early American life are present, including brown eggs and ladies’ sewing circles. Caroline Stutson’s melodic text is engaging and easy to follow, while artist Susan Condie Lamb’s whimsical illustrations provide a picturesque view of prairie life. (Age 3 and older)

From Publishers Weekly
Stutson (By the Light of the Halloween Moon) and Lamb (My Great-Aunt Arizona) put the alphabet through its paces as they apply a rose-colored lens to the rural Midwest at the turn of the century. Some letters recall items specific to the period (“Irons” heated on a stove; a spinning “Teetotum” toy; a “Velocipede”); other key words represent familiar objects in bygone contexts (“Umbrellas” provide cover from sunshine; “Eggs” are collected from the family’s hen). Other entries, however, are relegated to obvious, ho-hum generalities belonging to no time or place in particular (“Alphabet”; “House”; “another Year”). Rhyming couplets link the scenes, also depicting a beatific way of life that makes the Little House books seem angst-ridden by comparison. Lamb’s joyful, nostalgic illustrations, sweetly lit, exhibit a sartorial sensibility that will have special appeal for the paper-doll set. However, from the uninspiring text to the overrefined illustrations, this prairie primer lies somewhere between prairie prosaic and prairie precious. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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