Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mountain Born, by Elizabeth Yates

The image shown to left is the one that was on my version of the book, but, since mine lacked a jacket, it was a somewhat disturbing mustard yellow-on-sky blue.  This one is much nicer!

As a young boy living in the mountains of an undisclosed country, Peter is given a small lamb from his parents' flock as a pet.  "Biddy," as his black ewe is later known, was stillborn but nursed back to life by Peter's mother.  The remainder of the book follows Peter (and, by extension, Biddy) through the remainder of Biddy's lifespan: the cycles of grazing and shearing, wandering the mountains and protecting the flock from harm.

It was a charming enough book, but not especially exceptional.  I also found it confusing at times- all adults are referred to by their first names, and there are several men around whose functions are not explicitly stated, so I often forgot which one was Peter's father.  Where did these men live?  Perhaps this information was implied but I was feeling too thick to understand it.  Also, I completely winced at the description of tail docking, using fire-heated tongs.  I know, I know, in some cases there are good reasons for it, but how awful.

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