Stalks of grass towering over one's head. Patches of yellow and purple wildflowers as far as the eye can see. Thousands of butterflies fluttering across an ocean of grass. Herds of bison plowing through deep snow. Scenes like this were familiar on the tallgrass prairie that once stretched across America’s heartland. Today, although most of the original prairie has disappeared, hints of its beauty still remain.
Illustrator Claudia McGehee brings the glory of the prairie back to life in A Tallgrass Prairie Alphabet. From the yellow stargrass that welcomes springtime to the butterfly milkweed that attracts summer’s favorite winged visitors, from the horned lark that soars in the fall to little bluestem that fights its way above the snow—each season unfolds in the vibrant color and vivid details of McGehee’s scratchboard illustrations.
Old friends like big bluestem and short-eared owl, as well as endangered species like the greater-prairie chicken, are all depicted living in harmony within their native habitat. For those wanting to learn more about the wonders of this rich environment, McGehee provides the common and scientific names of all the plants and animals she illustrates.
Anyone who has ever seen remnants of the tallgrass prairie—from child to teacher to tourist to prairie enthusiast—will appreciate the passion and warmth that leap from the pages of this beautifully illustrated alphabet book.
“Open these pages and celebrate the beauty of wide-open spaces. The form and feeling of McGehee’s illustrations gracefully evoke the plant and animal life of the tallgrass prairie, leaving readers with much to admire and ponder. A visual delight from A to Z.”—Tess Weaver, author of Opera Cat, 2003 Oppenheim Platinum Best Book Award
A Midwest Booksellers Association Honorable Mention, 2004