A Long Road on a Short Day
A Long Road on a Short Day
Publisher's Hardcover15.29
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Annotation: A tender story of a father-son adventure with themes of community and kindness, in short chapters with vivid full-color illustrations, by bestseller and Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt and acclaimed artist Eugene Yelchin.
Catalog Number: #213199
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Illustrator: Yelchin, Eugene,
Pages: 59 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-544-88836-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-544-88836-4
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019039826
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
What makes a fair trade? Samuel learns that an item's value depends on what others are willing to give for it. Depictions of homes and clothing place the story perhaps in the late 1800s, as Samuel's mother wishes for a milking cow to help feed the new baby. Walking with his father ahead of an oncoming snowstorm, Samuel watches him make a series of swaps, starting with a knife, to finally acquire a cow. The boy is rewarded for his patience when the final trade includes a border collie puppy for him. As the snow falls in earnest, father and son arrive home. For a book set mostly outdoors on a cold day, remarkable warmth flows from every page as the father quietly teaches his son about thoughtfulness and regard for others. Each neighbor has a different need, and the father exhibits concern and care for them all. The format of the book, 33 pages with 12 short chapters and full-color illustrations, makes for an easy family read-aloud or a bridge for transitional readers.
Horn Book
When Samuel's mother expresses an ardent wish for "a brown-eyed cow to give us milk for the baby," Samuel and his father pack a couple of apples and their best Barlow knife to trade and set out down the road as the cold January clouds gather. At each stop, the boy, who loves animals and longs for a pet, wishes, "just a little bit, it wasn't a brown-eyed cow his mother was wanting." As they swap the Barlow knife first for two tin lanterns and then, successively, briefly come into the possession of a book of poetry, a blue-and-white pitcher, a lamb, and a pony and cart, the daylight begins to wane and the snow begins to fall in earnest. Along the way, readers are privy to the warm interactions between father and son as well as their easy rapport with their neighbors. The narrative is spare and engaging with a folktale-like tone and storyteller's flair for repeated phrasing. Yelchin's lively full-color paintings are full of motion and realistic natural detail. The period and the setting are not specified; rather, this is a bit of timeless rural Americana. The circular journey is a successful one, and Samuel proves his mettle as a companion and helper -- and has earned his heart's desire. Luann Toth
Kirkus Reviews
A boy and his father embark on a special mission.When Samuel’s mother wishes for “a brown-eyed cow to give us milk for the baby,” Papa takes his best knife and invites Samuel to join him on a search for a cow. Leaving their farm early on a white January morning, Papa reminds Samuel to “keep up” because “it’s a long road and a short day,” a refrain he repeats throughout their journey. At neighbor Snow’s house, Papa trades his knife for two tin lanterns. At the Perrys’ house, he trades the lanterns for a book of poetry. He trades the book for a pitcher at Widow Mitchell’s, and the pitcher for a sheep when they encounter Dr. Fulton. This pattern continues as Papa trades the sheep for a gold pocket watch and the watch for a pony and cart that Samuel would dearly love to keep. Daylight is fading, snow is collecting, Samuel’s cold, and he has kept up with Papa, but will Papa trade the pony and cart for a cow? As the snow intensifies and the serial trading progresses, the momentum and suspense build gradually until father and son reach journey’s end, where Samuel receives a well-deserved reward. Full-page, realistic color illustrations introduce each chapter, tracing their journey from beginning to end in a snowy, rural, largely unmechanized environment evoking a simpler time and place.Quiet, gentle, satisfying tale of father-son bonding. (Fiction. 8-10)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A boy and his father embark on a special mission.When Samuel’s mother wishes for “a brown-eyed cow to give us milk for the baby,” Papa takes his best knife and invites Samuel to join him on a search for a cow. Leaving their farm early on a white January morning, Papa reminds Samuel to “keep up” because “it’s a long road and a short day,” a refrain he repeats throughout their journey. At neighbor Snow’s house, Papa trades his knife for two tin lanterns. At the Perrys’ house, he trades the lanterns for a book of poetry. He trades the book for a pitcher at Widow Mitchell’s, and the pitcher for a sheep when they encounter Dr. Fulton. This pattern continues as Papa trades the sheep for a gold pocket watch and the watch for a pony and cart that Samuel would dearly love to keep. Daylight is fading, snow is collecting, Samuel’s cold, and he has kept up with Papa, but will Papa trade the pony and cart for a cow? As the snow intensifies and the serial trading progresses, the momentum and suspense build gradually until father and son reach journey’s end, where Samuel receives a well-deserved reward. Full-page, realistic color illustrations introduce each chapter, tracing their journey from beginning to end in a snowy, rural, largely unmechanized environment evoking a simpler time and place.Quiet, gentle, satisfying tale of father-son bonding. (Fiction. 8-10)
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Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist (9/1/20)
Horn Book
Word Count: 4,527
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.0 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 509791 / grade: Middle Grades

A tender story of a father-son adventure with themes of community and kindness, in short chapters with vivid full-color illustrations, by bestseller and Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt and acclaimed artist Eugene Yelchin. In a story of perseverance and determination told with warmth and sparkling with humor, a short winter day finds Samuel and Papa walking a long road on Samuel's first trading trip. Meeting strangers, practicing good manners, and proud to be in Papa's company, Samuel watches and learns as Papa trades up from almost nothing to the milk cow Mama is yearning for. Simple text combines with vivid illustrations for a satisfying tale that will resonate with readers who enjoy an adventure with dad.


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