Wagons, Bumpy Trails by Verla Kay &
S.D. Schindler lesson
plan ideas, topics covered, and more
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
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!)
We've created a fun activity for enhancing the learning while reading
this book. To see the activity, please click here: Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails
lesson/activity ideas. And if you
have a related lesson idea or activity, please let us know so we can
add it to the list.
Level: Gr. 1-4 DRA Level: n/a
Reading Level: age 4-8 Lexile Measure:
Covered pioneer experiences
& Rating Average
Customer Rating: (3 reviews)
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.