Thus begins a lyrical journey through the days and weeks, the
months, and the changing seasons in the life of one New Englander
and his family. The oxcart man packs his goods - the wool from his
sheep, the shawl his wife made, the mittens his daughter knitted,
and the linen they wove. He packs the birch brooms his son carved,
and even a bag of goose feathers from the barnyard geese.
He travels over hills, through valleys, by streams, past farms
and villages. At Portsmouth Market he sells his goods, one by one -
even his beloved ox. Then, with his pockets full of coins, he
wanders through the market, buying provisions for his family, and
returns to his home. And the cycle begins again.
Donald Hall has created a gentle story, evoking a quiet time in
American life that is irrevocably past. Using a special method
which resembles the early American technique of painting on wood,
Barbara Cooney has captured the sense of peace of early
nineteenth-century New England and the bustle of Portsmouth