Climbing Kansas Mountains

by George Shannon and Thomas Burt Allen

When they made a flour-dough map of their home state, Kansas, there was hardly a... read more

When they made a flour-dough map of their home state, Kansas, there was hardly a bump on it, so what in the world was his dad talking about when he invited Sam to go mountain-climbing one Sunday afternoon? Out of curiosity and boredom, Sam agreed to go but he couldn't see any mountains, not even when his dad stopped the car next to the grain elevators where he worked. "The thing that makes a mountain is a high, quiet view," his dad tells him, after he grins his "got you" grin. Viewing Kansas from their "mountaintop" Sam sees that it looks the same -- and different. And driving home across the flat landscape, the father and son together are the same -- and different. An exquisitely eloquent story uses humor and metaphorical language to bring two characters to life as they share an unforgettable yet private experience. With very few words, the author has managed to reveal truths and complexities of human relationships that many novelists fail to elicit -- perhaps that's what happens when you set out to climb a Kansas mountain. (Ages 4-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1993

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