“A rollicking original extension of Paul Bunyan’s tale. Paul meets a gigantic woman, and he and Carrie are soon married. Two oversize children arrive and play a important role in the formation of many of America’s natural wonders: Niagara Falls, Bryce Canyon, and Big Sur, among others.
The Rocky Mountains are attributed to Ma Bunyan’s efforts to keep the children from wandering off too far, and Old Faithful to her desire for a regular supply of hot water when they camp in Wyoming. Grown up, Little Jean gets restless and leaps up into space. Wood captures the tongue-in-cheek tone and the exaggeration bordering on the ridiculous that characterize American tall tales yet all the while making the Bunyans seem like an all-American family. The story begins in the Victorian era and ends in modern times, which reinforces its absurdity since these natural wonders are not products of recent history. Shannon’s realistic, full-color paintings provide a counterpoint to the text, serving to make it seem almost believable. The artist’s figures are large and solid and he judiciously puts normal sized people and animals in them to remind readers just how big the Bunyans are. Extensions of folktales are popular now, and this book is a fine contribution to the genre.”
=Jane Gardner Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia