Arizona was born in a log cabin her papa built. She grew into a tall girl who liked to sing, square-dance, and—most of all—read and dream of the faraway places she would visit one day. Arizona never did make it to those places. Instead she became a teacher, helping generations of children in the one-room schoolhouse which she herself had attended. Gloria Houston's joyous recounting of her great-aunt Arizona's quiet yet meaningful life reminds us of the magical place a special teacher can hold in our hearts.
Both the text and illustrations in this book are charming and sentimental. It's a beautifully descriptive book that captures lots of details of late 19th and early 20th century life, but will probably be more appealing to the adult readers than children listeners. If you, like us, feel sad that Arizona never got to travel, couple this with Barbara Cooney's Miss Rumpius. While there are plenty of books about this period, if you enjoy this one, you may also like Lucy's Summer by Donald Hall.
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