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AS AN OAK TREE GROWS

Thank you to deniskitchen.com

In the 1930s Dorothea Lange photographed the town I live in. The main street looks pretty much they way it did then, but I'm fascinated with the people and cars on the street. Old photos of places you know can give your brain a little jolt and a deeper frame of reference.

I love those pictures of old cow paths that are now busy avenues, like R. Crumb's A SHORT HISTORY of AMERICA (above).

"...this poster shows the gradual metamorphosis of a single plot of land from virgin wilderness to urban decay in 12 panels. ... After the popular but depressing 12-panel poster went out of print, Crumb added three panels to answer the "What next?" question posed in his original final 12th panel." — http://www.deniskitchen.com/

G. Brian Karas has created a children's book version of A SHORT HISTORY in AS AN OAK TREE GROWS. 

AS AN OAK TREE GROWS is a look at the changing population and modernization surrounding a tree rooted in place for over 200 years while the world crowds in around it. The language is simple description and the reasons for the changing landscape are not addressed. (It made me wince a little when I read about the Native American boy who grew up and "moved away.") 

The illustrations have a charming Grandma Moses type perspective that inspires careful study of the people and buildings. (I have long been a fan of Karas's wobbly line and sweet characters.) From spread to spread the reader sees the changes that each 25 year interval brings—from 1775 (when the tree is planted by the Native American boy) to 2000, when lightening destroys the tree. An acorn survives to grow where the great oak once stood. 



Review copy from Penguin 


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