|Down Down the Mountain by Ellis Credle|
Ellis Credle, a native of North Carolina born in 1902, used the experiences of her childhood and stories from her time as a teacher in the Blue Ridge Mountains as well as traditional tales from North Carolina for plots for her books for children. Her first successful title, Down Down the Mountain, led to the publication of several other books with similar themes. She struggled with a few career setbacks and some of her earlier stories are criticized for their negative portrayal of African Americans but her later work is praised by some for its authentic portrayal of life in the rural South for African Americans in the 1930s.
The story is lovely in Down Down the Mountain, with an elegant moral and a fun plot twist at the end. But the artwork of this book lifts it out of the ordinary scope of books for children and makes it something special. The two-color pictures have an easy style that captures the setting and portrays the people of the mountain with dignity and respect. There is a lot of fun in the pictures and I think adults will be as enchanted as their children with this lovely work.