Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails
by Verla Kay & S.D. Schindler
In Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails,
Kay and Schindler take readers along with mother, father, and baby John
head west on the pioneer trail to California. A rhyming tale of four
lines per page, the story starts out full of optimism and high spirits
but becomes more markedly less so as the arduous journey continues.
Kay's verses capture the range of emotions along the way, but
impressively retain a sense of optimism and hopeful anticipation. School Library Journal
called this book "a riveting story about courage, endurance, and
We are big fans of Verla Kay. In fact, we have every book she has written on this site! (I think.) She has such a fantastic way of translating events in American history into kid-friendly, fun but educational picture books. We hope there are many more to come from this great author. (And she always pairs up with such talented illustrators too!)
Interest Level: Kindergarten - 3rd grade
is the first spread in
the book, in which the family is just heading out on the pioneer trail.
As with all Verla Kay books, the rhyming text is fun and bouncy and
packed with historical details.
watercolor and gouache paintings are brilliant! At right is another
page from a spread inside this book. In fact, almost all of the pages
are double-page spreads, creating beautiful
panoramas that capture the setting and drama of the voyage.
Schindler strikes a nice balance, keeping the illustrations kid friendly through whimsical characters but also creating vistas and settings that are educational, accurate and stunning. Of course, you have to see them full size to really appreciate it.
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