Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Daniel Boone

Finished Daniel Boone written and illustrated by James Daugherty. It won the Newbery Medal in 1940. This book joins The Story of Mankind as one of my least favorite Newbery Medalists. In it's telling of Boone's adventures on the American frontier, it portrays the brutality and prejudice of the time all too vividly. Boone is a hero fighting for freedom and land. Native Americans are depicted as blood-thirsty savages. I found this perspective puzzling after having read some of the preceding Newbery Medalists, in particular Calico Bush and Caddie Woodlawn, where settlers learn to live peaceably with neighboring tribes.

Daugherty was trained as a painter. His illustrations for the book are lurid, disturbing, and while skillfully rendered, difficult to appreciate.

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