The Little Pioneer

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Review

Inspired by letters and diaries from the 1800s, this enjoyable picture book explores the origins of modern-day America and the life and motivation of early pioneers. Following the death of her father in 1849, a young girl embarks on a perilous journey with her mother and two young brothers, across the dusty plains of America to make a new life in California.

They travel for months on foot, horseback and wagon, with three other families and their guide, the wild Mr Reed. Despite encountering inhospitable landscapes, treacherous rivers and illness, they form strong bonds with their fellow travellers, and find the capacity to share laughter, music, friendship and hope.

Evocative illustrations in warm sepia tones are full of detail, adding to the drama and narrative of this story. Combined with sparse text written in period language, the American Wild West is skilfully brought to life in this unusual adventure tale.

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