Squirrel and John Muir
by Emily Arnold McCully
from the book's dust jacket
Squirrel and John Muir by Emily Arnold McCully
York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux,
40 pages; Size: 8 1/2 x 11 1/2. Full-color pictures throughout; Author's
note, bibliography; for ages 4-8).
In 1868 the splendors of Yosemite Valley were still known just to a few intrepid
outdoorsemen. the earliest promoter of tourism was the English journalist James
Hutchings, whose daughter Floy was the first white child born in the valley.
The feisty little girl - also known as Squirrel - had to fend for herself much
of the time and was considered alarmingly wild by her father's
guests. When strong, competent, poetic John Muir is hired
by Hutchings to run a swmill and improve the hotel, Floy
becomes his inquisitive shadow as he builds himself a cabin over a stream,
talks to flowers, and listens to snow, and watches the wind. Floy, a little
force of nature determined never to grow up because she'd have to be a lady,
and Muir, looking to discover laws of nature by which he himself can live free
from society's expectations, are primed to find common ground in Yosemite.
In the time that they know each other, Muir comes to terms with his mission
in hte larger world and gently shows Floy how to truly see her awesome surroundings.
Using historic events as background, Emily Arnold MCully imagines how the
great naturalist, whose own inner child kept his soul and senses ever open
to possibility, might have clicked with the sprite called Squirrel as they
roamed their wilderness paradise.
Emily Arnold McCully is the author and/or illustrator of
more than one hundred books for children, including Mirette on the High
which was awarded the Caldecott Medal. She divides her time between New York
City and her country home.
Farrar Straus Giroux
19 Union Square West
New York 10003
Annotated John Muir Bibliography - Books for Children
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