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Horn Book  (1999)
Addy's lyrical text traces the changes the millennia have brought to a Wisconsin field, where a modern-day farmer unearths a Civil War button, an ancient Indian arrowhead, and an Ice Age bone. The artwork--saturated watercolors flanked by soft pencil sketches of thematic motifs on double-page spreads--complements the contemplative tone. Together they quietly, evocatively put time in perspective. -- Copyright 1999 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly      (Sept. 27th, 1999)
In this lyrical homage to humankind's relationship to the land, "this spot" is the farm belonging to the narrator's grandfather, and as Grandpa digs a ditch, he discovers clues to its past.  The story of the land begins with the Paleo-Indians of the Ice Age: "Indians in ancient times/ lit a campfire/ on a glacial beach."  In Addy's (A Visit with Great-Grandma) stately text, spare language evokes the changes of seasons and of centuries, and sets the stage for the artifacts Grandpa uncovers: a mastodon bone, old Indian arrowheads and a button from a Civil War uniform.  Clapp, who exhibited his talent for realistic landscapes with mystical qualities in The Stone Fey, here juxtaposes a realistic painting of Grandpa driving his tractor over the fields with a haunting portrait of the Indians, their faces aglow by firelight, sitting under a full moon.  This illustration provides a graceful transition to the next spread of a luminous moon that "rose and set,/ over and over,/ Season followed season."  Together, the text and art smoothly convey the passage of time in this specific area near the southwestern tip of Lake Michigan and chronicle it's progression from glacial beach to Civil War battleground to what is now patchwork farmland.  Readers never see the child narrator, though the grandfather and grandmother have cameo appearances; the effect of these predominantly unpopulated landscapes creates a feeling of reverence for the book's real main character----the land itself. Ages 4-8.  (Sept.)

Kirkus Reviews      (August 1999)
This impressive picture book shares a history of the land and its people with a grandfather on a tractor drive through his cabbage field. The items that turn up are a chipped stone tool from the time of the mastodon, a lost arrowhead from centuries later, and a Civil War button. The brief main text is lyrical and thoughtful, while the author concludes with a note describing how Paleo-Indians came to the shores of Lake Michigan during the Ice Age; how the Illinois and Potawatomi Indians came after the glaciers melted; and how trappers, frontiersmen, and homesteaders came still later to build the farms and houses still in existence in Wisconsin and Michigan. Soft gray pencil drawings and double-page watercolors amplify the text; Clapp is especially adept at capturing the sweep of sky and the brown earth of the farm in broad bands of color, maximizing the impact of the medium. An appealing introduction to archaeology, and to the concept of continuity through the passing of time. (Picture book. 6-10) -- Copyright 1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Booklist      (October 15th, 1999)
Ages 4-8.  A simple poetic text and quiet watercolor-and-pencil landscapes introduce children to archaeology by focusing on the passing of time in one field---from prehistory to the present---and the different people who lived there, what they did, and how we know about them from the things they left behind.  Where Grandpa drives a tractor in his cabbage field in Wisconsin, Paleo-Indians of the Ice Age chipped stones into tools and hunted mastodon.  Time passed, the glaciers melted, and new Indian people came, Illinois and Potawatomi.   Over and over the seasons changed.  Then settlers came and cut trees to build a cabin.  A Civil War soldier walked the field and lost a button there.  The combination of what stays the same and the particulars of what changes will fascinate kids and get them thinking about the "hidden history" of where they live.------Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal      (November 1999)
K-Gr 2 ----  Following a picture of an elderly man on his tractor, a straightforward text explains how the Paleo-Indians of the Ice Age once lived where his farm stands today. Subsequent pages protray the melting of the glacier and the growth of forest and farmland.  Seasons pass; other Indians, then settlers, then a soldier in the Civil War walk the land until readers are ultimately brought to the present day, where Grandpa unearths an old button, arrowheads, and a bone.   Grandma arranges for specialists to examine the archaeological treasures found "right here on this spot..."
Clapp's watercolor-and-pencil illustrations depict the land's progression with a gorgeous realism. This concept book is a useful introduction to the rudiments of archaeology, but it does not have the child appeal of George Ella Lyon's Who Came Down That Road? (Orchard, 1996)  The beginning offers no intriguing catalyst for the lengthy discussion of geological and historical changes that follows.   Children will need an adult to interest them in this one.. -- Jackie Hechtkopf, University of Maryland, College Park..

Related News
It isn't really a review, but I'm very pleased to announce that Giant Steps Books & Toys, has selected Right Here on This Spot as one of it's "Picks of the Season".  Thank You!" Giant Steps, Sharon and I really appreciate it.  Here's what they had to say on their website:


The staff loves to read, and tries to stay current with all the newest titles in the store. Here are their recommendations for this season! Please note: neither the store nor the staff are paid for these recommendations - we just like the books!

Right Here on This Spot
Right here on this spot in ancient times there were people who lived on a beach and hunted the huge mastodon. Right here on this spot in this field thousands of years ago, Indians hunted deer for their dinner. Right here on this spot hundreds of years ago, there were settlers, who had to march off to war one day. You wouldn't know it, looking at the field today with the cows and the chickens - how can we know what happened right here on this spot? (Houghton Mifflin hardback $15.00)(reviewed 1999 - dkh)