Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

N.C.Wyeth's Pilgrims

N.C.Wyeth's Pilgrims

Robert D. San Souci
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 10
Chronicle Books, 1991   ISBN: 978-0811814867

It is one of the most well known stories in history and it is one full of great adventure and hardship. For the people who set out on the Mayflower in September of 1620, it would mean the beginning of a journey which would prove to be full of danger and unknowns.

Two groups of people sailed on the ship. There were the Separatists and there were those whom the Separatists called the Strangers. The Separatists were seeking a land where they could worship as they pleased and where they could live in peace, free from persecution. The Strangers were people who did not share the same religious beliefs as their traveling companions but who did seek a new life in a new land. Once they arrived at their destination the two groups became one and they took on the name of "Pilgrims."

They found a new land but getting there and making a life there proved to be very hard and very costly in lives. Robert San Souci takes us through the days with the Pilgrims, letting us experience both the mundane (washing their clothes after their long voyage), and the special (the first Thanksgiving celebration). With a clear understanding of the times and the people, Robert San Souci takes us on a journey which is both fascinating and touching.

The artwork which accompanies this superb text gives a us somewhat idealistic picture of what was most certainly a very hard and often grim time for the Pilgrims. And yet, there was great beauty in the New World, and there must have been good times as well as bad. These are the images we see as we turn the pages,and they are both beautiful and captivating.

At the back of the book the reader will find a fascinating description of N.C. Wyeth's life and work. One learns the reason why the artist chose to portray only cheerful and happy scenes and where the paintings where created and are still displayed. There is also an author's note which provides some interesting information of historic value.