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ereksonj

ereksonj

Louisa May's Battle: How the Civil War Led to Little Women - Kathleen Krull, Carlyn Beccia This outline of Alcott's stint as a Civil War nurse, and how it impacted her writing was an interesting slice of her life. Krull spent careful time using Alcott sources to get the clear effect that Alcott was disgusted by nursing work while at the same time getting a kind of satisfaction from it--whether this was just the value of work, or a sense of contribution to the war effort, I'm not sure. At any rate, that was a nice flash of humanity. Beyond that, the books seems to suffer from what we see in many other picturebook biographies, which is that the book jolts through a series of somewhat disjointed items on the timeline to reach a predetermined endpoint, which was not very interesting.

Beccia's "digital oils" illustrations are interesting to look at. She achieves a bold style that is slightly flat and 'Americana-esque' in the style of old American portraiture. Sometimes the pictures are more interesting than others. For example, on the page where she is mopping a soldier's brow while a doctor cuts away a pant leg, it's a little too easy to sense the digitization of source material. Others, such as the page where she is running over the hills near the hospital, it feels for all the world like no digital media was involved, and I'm just looking at a painting.