The Range Eternal, a shiny blue woodstove, is at the heart of everything in a young girl’s life. Her family lives in the Turtle Mountains in North Dakota. When it is cold, Mama warms stones in the Range Eternal to put under their blankets and keep toes warmed through the night. Mama’s soups and the baked potatoes (that double as mittens) warm everyone on the inside, too. At night, when the winter winds blew, the fire kept them safe and warm, and looking at the flames, the girl would dream of all of spending time on the range galloping with horses; flying with hawks and eagles; and loping with wolves.
Then things changed. Electric heat and an oven replaced the stove, and wires on poles began to dot the plains. The girl changed, too. She is now a mom and wife, but she hasn’t forgotten The Range Eternal.
We LOVE Louise Erdrich's writing. It is expessive and beautiful on its own. The illustrations in The Range Eternal make her words even more vivid. The lovely, lovely illustrations that blend the blue stove and skies the color of wheat help connect the literal (stove) and figurative (land) meanings of the "range eternal."
The poetic rhythm of the story and dreamy illustrations make this a lovely selection for bedtime. Highly recommended.
Young readers will enjoy exploring the images formed by the clouds as much as the story/poem itself. Parents will love the quietness that it brings to send kids off to their own imaginative dreams.
This is a semi-biographic story of the author's grandmother and her memories of the wood stove she grew up with.
Encourage young readers to talk with elders - neighbors, family friends, relatives - about things they remember from their own homes growing up. Some may have photos or historical/treasured objects to share.
10 and Up
6 and Up
Borrow. This is a lovely, lovely book for bedtime.