Ox-Cart Man

Ox-Cart Man -  Barbara Cooney, Donald Hall Call me old fashioned but I rather like this children's book. The illustrations call to mind folk art, which I believe was a deliberate choice as it works perfectly with the tale. One can then understand why it won the Caldecott Medal.

This book introduces children to a time that for them would be hard to even imagine. Children are given little understanding of history today, so I feel this book is even more important. The words are simply, repetitive, and tell the story of a family working together to produce what their farm provides into sell-able goods and how everything was carefully chosen so that the farmer had an easier time bringing the money and items they needed home then he did bringing the items to market. The story then goes on to show how they worked through the year towards the next fall and the next time the Ox-Cart man rolled towards the city.

This story could facilitate a great deal of discussion consisting of how children and families once lived and how things have changed since then. A wonderful teaching tool that is also enjoyable to read.