What if the crickets attacked the pioneers' crops and the seagulls didn't come? The children's book "Eliza's Field of Faith," by Rachelle Pace Castor, tells about how the crickets destroyed the crops in Dry Creek (now Lehi), Utah, in 1852. There was no miracle of the gulls, but there was a miracle.Castor's book takes the true story of what happened to the pioneers in Dry Creek and tells it through the fictional character of Eliza — a young girl whose father was called away on a mission. Eliza's mother does the best she can, but plants the wheat dangerously late in the season. Before long, crickets devour everybody's crops.The story is beautifully told and paced well, but the real star of the book is the illustrations by Dixon Leavitt. Anybody who writes a children's book dreams of an illustrator like Leavitt. His paintings are perfect to the mood of each point of the story. Some are dark and sad. Others are magical. All are gorgeous and capture the essential moments that enhance the story.The text is a bit long for the smallest children, but with Leavitt's illustrations it would be easy to tell the story in an abbreviated fashion that could hold their interest.The story is unfortunately told in flashback — a difficult thing for children to follow. Jumping around in chronology is probably best left for older readers (and even older readers appreciate not having to keep track of where they are).There are many children's picture books in the national and the LDS market. "Eliza's Field of Faith" is one of the best. It is a book that is full of beauty and inspiration for adults and children.


A Kid's ViewBy Kate De Groote, Age 8This book is a great book. It shows how prayers can be answered different than you expect. It tells about history and how life was. It lets you feel the Spirit. It's a cool book.

E-mail: mdegroote@desnews.com