3.26.2012

Born and Bred in the Great Depression

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday 
hosted today by Booktalking

(pub. 10.11.2011)  40 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Jonah Winter
     and Illustrator: 
                 Kimberly Bulcken Root

haracter: Jonah Winter's father

O verview from the publisher: 
         "East Texas, the 1930s—the Great Depression. Award-winning author Jonah Winter's father grew up with seven siblings in a tiny house on the edge of town. In this picture book, Winter shares his family history in a lyrical text that is clear, honest, and utterly accessible to young readers, accompanied by Kimberly Bulcken Root's rich, gorgeous illustrations. Here is a celebration of family and of making do with what you have—a wonderful classroom book that's also perfect for children and parents to share."

T antalizing taste: 

"At Christmastime, you might not have gotten
many toys,
but it was magical to watch
the trains pass by.
to see the blue lights
twinkling in the windows of the dining car.

And it was a good day
if you got to play chess
with your dad
or listen to him play the banjo on the porch
in his special style,
two fingers gone
from a lumber mill accident."

and something more: Jonah Winter tells a poignant story about his father in Born and Bred in the Great Depression.  I was particularly drawn to the description of "a good day" as one in which he played chess with his dad or listened to him play the banjo. My son has taken up the banjo and he bought a wonderful used banjo from an experienced banjo player who said he bought this banjo, one of his first banjos, in college from someone who had played it during the Depression. If only that banjo could tell the stories of the people who played it and the settings where it was played.  Who knows? Maybe it crossed the path of the family of Jonah Winter's father. 

2 comments:

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi Jeanne, this sounds like a beautiful beautiful book. I've read a few YA novels that spoke about the Depression: Moon Over Manifest and Out of the Dust - heartwrenching. I am sure that this picture book would be a perfect companion book to those heavy-going YA novels.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Myra, Yes, it has a lovely tone -- it focuses on appreciating the little things, but still conveys the experience of the Depression. Thanks for stopping by!