Paul Bunyan’s Sweetheart by Marybeth Lorbiecki, illustrated by Renee Graef.
Lucette Diana Kensack was quite a large girl, an equal to Paul Bunyan. She and her similarly large cow, Nel, would mix up rivers of butter, quilt acres of seeds, and create cooling breezes by shaking out her rugs. When Paul Bunyan comes to meet her, she sets him three tasks. He tries his best to do her bidding, but somehow never gets it right. Lucette’s tasks are all about respecting the environment and loving the land they are using. In the end, she shows Paul and the readers exactly how to do just that.
Lorbiecki has created a book with a rollicking rhythm to the text, a heartiness to the tale and a lovely and worthwhile message for readers. Her text has nice touches to it that make one read it with a certain woodsy cadence. Combined with Graef’s illustrations, the book really sings. The illustrations have a certain Garth William’s feel to them with a similar softness.
This book begs to read aloud. Reading it silently will not give you the same feel for the rhythm and joy of the language here. Recommended for sharing with children for environmental units or just for a rollicking super-sized time.