Ox Cart Man
by Donald Hall

The ox cart man and his family work hard to raise animals, grow food and make everything they need. Set in the early pioneering days, the story follows the cycle of the seasons: in Spring, they plant their fields; in March, they tap the maple trees for syrup; and in April they shear the sheep.

At harvest time they gather the farm produce and load it, together with the mittens, shawls and brooms the family has made, into the ox cart. The father rides the cart to town and sells everything he's brought - including the cart and ox. He returns home with new tools for his family, to help them produce goods for the following year.

The down-to-earth information and lyrical writing make this book a fascinating as well as satisfying read. A Caldecott medal winner, it's a good choice if you're looking for bedtime stories for kids: the detailed drawings provide plenty of scope for family discussions, and the soothing flow of text has just the right calming effect on children.

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