The Hundred-Year Barn

Katherine Tegen Bks/HarperCollins/. Sept. 2019. 48p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062687739.
K-Gr 2–MacLachlan’s gift for portraying bucolic bliss returns in this account of a 1919 barn raising and the narrator’s experiences with the building as years pass. When Jack is five, his community gathers for the framing, building, raising, and painting of what his father dubs the Hundred-Year Barn. Meanwhile, youngsters play in a stream, chow down at celebration feasts, and share scary story at sleepovers in the barn. The narrator ages, assuming tasks of responsibility for the structure and its residents. Sweeping the barn as an adult, Jack discovers a fallen nest containing the wedding ring his father lost during the barn build. Pak applies gouache, pencil, ink, and digital media for folksy illustrations that offer warm gold overtones, and complement the narrator’s ever-red cap. Fox, possum, cat, dog, and mouse each meander into the story with winsome expressions, adding to the serene mood.
VERDICT This story’s poetry and pace are mellow, ideal for a quiet time.

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