The Man Who Lived Alone, Mary Azarian

Today's vintage children's book is The Man Who Lived Alone. The story is moving and simply told. A young boy and his sisters suffer because of a cruel father. A fire burns down their house when he is six years old and he is sent off to live with his cousins. A very happy time for him, he also learns how to be a carpenter and handyman. At age 12 he is forced by his father to go back and work on the farm. At age 14 he runs away and travels all over the U.S. When he is old enough, he moves back to the area where he was happy. He keeps contact with the people who cared for him, is resourceful and lives alone. He is happy living a life of solitude and although it is never fully explained, you understand why.

The Man Who Lived Alone
By Donald Hall
Illustrated by Mary Azarian
David R. Godine, 1984

Mary Azarian is a woodcut printmaker who lives in Vermont. Since 1968 she has been making woodcut prints out of a studio in her home. Azarian has illustrated over 50 books and won a Caldecott medal in 1999 for her illustrations in Snowflake Bentley. To read more about Mary you can go to her website here.

Azarian's illustrations in The Man Who Lived Alone are great and serve the story well. I'm a big fan of her work and have a few of her books. Woodcuts are a favorite medium of mine and I am always on the lookout at book sales.

A few other books illustrated by Mary Azarian:

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