The Heavenly Tenants
William Maxwell, Ilonka Karasz
(Dover Publications, Sept. 13, 2017)
"This is a lovely introduction to the constellations of the zodiac for children, and readers of all ages will be enthralled by the evocative scratchboard illustrations. The Dover production is a high-quality hardcover on heavy, slightly glossy paper, a beautiful book to treasure for many years." — The Emerald City Book Review The Marvell family is on the move, driving from their Wisconsin farm to visit the children's grandmother in Virginia. The night before their departure, Mr. Marvell talks to Roger, Heather, and the twins about the wonders of the night sky and explains the zodiac — a beautiful trail traveled by the sun in the daytime and by the moon and planets at night. The pathway's 12 sections, called the "signs" of the zodiac, contain clusters of stars. Long ago shepherds and sailors identified the clusters with characters from mythology, and so the heavens became filled with gods and heroes, hunters, ploughmen, and archers as well as birds, bears, farm animals, and monsters. Upon the family's arrival in Virginia, Mr. Marvell sets up his telescope but he can't find the Crab —it has disappeared from the sky! Meanwhile, back in Wisconsin, a strange light emanates from the Marvells' house, illuminating every board, windowpane, shingle, brick, and stone. What could be causing it? A Newbery Honor book of 1947, this extraordinary tale by a noted American author is gloriously illustrated with woodcut-style scratchboard graphics.