The Cremation of Sam McGee

Robert Service
Ted Harrison

In 1986 Kids Can Press published an edition of Robert Service's “The Cremation of Sam McGee” illustrated by painter Ted Harrison, who used his signature broad brushstrokes and unconventional choice of color to bring this gritty narrative poem to life. Evoking both the spare beauty and the mournful solitude of the Yukon landscape, Harrison's paintings proved the perfect match for Service's masterpiece about a doomed prospector adrift in a harsh land. Harrison's Illustrator's Notes on each page enhanced both poem and illustrations by adding valuable historical background.
Upon its original publication, many recognized the book as an innovative approach to illustrating poetry for children. For years The Cremation of Sam McGee has stood out as a publishing landmark, losing none of its appeal both as a read-aloud and as a work of art. Kids Can Press proudly publishes this deluxe hardcover twentieth anniversary edition --- complete with a spot-varnished cover, new cover art and heavy coated stock --- of a book that remains as entrancing as a night sky alive with the vibrant glow of the Northern Lights.

978-1-55453-272-8 | Mar 1, 2013
List Price: USD $12.99, CAD $14.99
4-color 9 x 12 32 pages
Grades: 4 To 6 / Ages: 9 to 11

Educational Resources


Awards & Reviews

“[G]orgeously illustrated ... [A] wonderful new edition ... Harrison's pictures are startling and memorable”
— Winnipeg Free Press, July 2006
“There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men who moil for books; The Arctic trails have their secret tales that could give you second looks, The Northern Lights have seen their sights But the wisest they ever did see Was the day in'06, complete with great pix They reissued Sam McGee.”
— Globe and Mail, December 2006
“No poem that I can think of, especially a comic one, was ever rendered so electrifyingly in paint”
— Book World, October 2006
1986 - Notable Book, American Library Association, Winner
1986 - Best Book Selection, The New York Times, Winner