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Paul Bunyan and Boston

emberley_story of paul bunyanAn example of the spare beauty of mid-century design, Barbara and Ed Emberley’s The Story of Paul Bunyan (originally published in 1963 by Prentice Hall; new edition AMMO Books, January 2015) is illustrated with woodcuts and printed in two colors — woodsy brown accented with a bright blue befitting Paul’s beloved ox, Babe.

The story conveys the usual information about the legendary strongman — he weighed a mere 105 pounds at birth, he combed his long beard with a pine tree — with a folksy, conversational style: “Paul dug his river that afternoon and he called it the Mississippi, which, as far as I know, is what it is called to this day.” But, being a not-so-recent transplant to Boston, what delighted me most was learning the part Paul played in the origins of The Horn Book’s home city: he “caused Boston to break off of Maine and float down the sea to Massachusetts, where it still is to this day.” Who knew?

About Molly Glover

Molly Glover is an editorial intern at The Horn Book.

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