Sunsets Of The West by Tony Johnston
(Sweep, 12)

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When Pa decides to leave New Hampshire and head west, it's a decision that affects the whole family. They all must pack up and leave, pulled forward by their dreams. But the dreams must share the trek with tears. Tears for the days without rain, then tears for the bullet rain that comes, for the swelling rivers that carry their cow and chickens away, for the graves they pass. The family keeps its hopes alive by singing songs: storm songs, wheel-fixing songs, songs for going on.

Tony Johnston's graceful story harmonizes perfectly with Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Ted Lewin's lifelike watercolors, giving readers a strong feeling for one pioneer family's triumphant struggle on the westward journey to a new home.

Illustrated by Ted Lewin

About Tony Johnston

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Tony Johnston was born in Los Angeles, California on January 30, 1942. She received a B.A. in history and an M.A in education from Stanford University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a fourth-grade teacher. She has written over 70 books for children. Her titles include Amber on the Mountain, the Cowboy and the Black-Eyed Pea, Day of the Dead, the Ghost of Nicholas Greebe, the Sparky and Eddie series, and the Adventures of Mole and Troll. Her first adult novel was Any Small Goodness. Her works have earned her several awards including a Children's Choice Award for Four Scary Stories and the Beatty Award in 2002 for Any Small Goodness. Ted Lewin grew up in an old frame house in Buffalo, New York, with two brothers, one sister, two parents, a lion, an iguana, a chimpanzee, and an assortment of more conventional pets. The lion was given to his older brother, Don, while he was traveling as a professional wrestler, and he shipped it home. The family kept Sheba in the basement fruit cellar until Don returned and their mother convinced him to give it to the Buffalo zoo. Ted always knew he wanted to be an illustrator. As a child he copied the work of illustrators and painters he admired, including N. C. Wyeth, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Velazquez, and Goya. When it came time to go to art school (Pratt), he needed to earn money to finance his education. So, following in his brother's footsteps, he took a summer job as a wrestler -- the beginning of a 15-year part-time career that eventually inspired his autobiographical book I Was a Teenage Professional Wrestler. Ted's career as an artist began with illustrations for adventure magazines, and it's only over the last several years that he has devoted his time to writing and illustrating children's books. "I'm having more fun doing this than anything I've ever done before," he says. He is an avid traveler, and many of his books are inspired by trips to such places as the Amazon River, the Sahara Desert, Botswana, Egypt, Lapland, and India. His Market!, published in 1996, showcases markets around the world, from Uganda to Ireland to Ecuador.Touch and Go is a collection of stories about the adventures Ted had while researching his books. Gorilla Walk is his first collaboration with his wife, Betsy, and is about their trek to see the mountain gorillas in Uganda. They've just completed their second collaboration, Elephant Quest, set in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. Ted's current project is about a Civil War drummer boy.Ted and Betsy live in Brooklyn, New York, where they share their home with two cats, Slick and Chopper.
Published June 10, 2002 by Putnam Juvenile. 40 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The travels of a family from Maine are chronicled in the sights, smells, and sounds of their wagon journey.

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Publishers Weekly

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Through the varied perspectives of Lewin's (Peppe the Lamplighter) realistic, light-filled watercolors, readers glimpse the underside of the wagon and meet, head on, a large herd of buffalo as it stretches across two spreads.

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