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ereksonj

ereksonj

Henry and the Cannons: An Extraordinary True Story of the American Revolution - Don  Brown The Henry Knox history is great material. I realize I probably knew it before, but was reintroduced to it in [b:Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales|13591161|Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales One Dead Spy|Nathan Hale|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1343090433s/13591161.jpg|19179194]. I was excited when I saw this title in the stack Lu borrowed for me.

Don Brown made a good complementary visual story. There are individual pictures and double-page spreads that tell their own mini-narrative, and the entire set of pictures could tell a mostly cohesive story without the words. Brown uses a variety of graphic-novel conventions and structures to help set up the visual story (see [b:Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art|102920|Understanding Comics The Invisible Art|Scott McCloud|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1328408101s/102920.jpg|2415847]). One of my favorites was the three-panel showing him leave Boston for Ticonderoga, with the left panel showing the back of his horse in clear weather, the middle panel showing the middle of the horse in reain, and the head of the horse in the right-hand panel in snow. Brown's sketchy figure drawings keep the feel of the charcoal or pencil medium, with a basic palette of watercolors for coloring. I enjoyed looking at it.

I was less impressed with the text, which felt wooden and disjointed like the old basal readers. I don't know if it's Brown's perception of child readers or his editors, but I always found this kind of writing condescending as a child and even more so now--and it's almost painful to read this kind of text out loud to a group. He did intersperse a few direct quotes from Knox's own words, and included a bibliography, but otherwise little direction on where he got his history or where his sources for the quotations are.