Reviews for Ring of earth : a child's book of seasons

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Four poems in the voices of animals associated with the seasons: ""Winter Song of the Weasel,"" spring peeper, dragonfly, goose--with notes on relevant natural history and elaborate watercolor illustrations. Unfortunately, Yolen's text is labored and wooden: ""Winter ponds wear skins of bright/hardened ice that shows no light./I see no fish beneath the sheen./What was once cannot be seen/in winter.""--the words don't illuminate the ideas. Wallner's illustrations are complex montages of vignettes, background, and decorative arrangements; in detail they are charming; in the aggregate the effect is busy, although it's a fair representation of nature's kaleidoscope. A disappointing contribution from two talented artists, this will be useful in school libraries when books on seasons are in demand. Copyright ŠKirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
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Award-winning author Yolen offers a beautiful book of poetry that sings old songs in new ways. The challenging language, rich in metaphor and rhythm, is matched perfectly by Wallner's stunning drawings, showing the dragonfly with its ``veins like stained glass ribbings trapping all the sun's light,'' and the geese flying ``but wingtips apart, no compass, no compass but the heart.'' The seasons are represented by four poems, each narrated by a different animal, and both text and art emphasize the cyclic nature of all living things on ``This ring of earth, this world, this sphere, enclosed within the circled year.'' It is difficult to say which is more satisfyingWallner's complicated designs, in which the earth and its animals are wreathed together, or Yolen's wonderful text that reminds us ``the Power of the World always works in circles.''(All ages) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal
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Gr 3-6 Between the covers of this brief book children will experience glorious language, gain new insight into the seasons, and pore over lush, provocative paintings. Yolen has selected four animals to sing ``songs'' of the various seasons. She begins with the winter song of the weasel, who changes with the winter and who, while awake, observes animals who ``make their living out of sleep.'' She continues with the song of the spring peeper and the summer song of the dragonfly. The cycle is completed by the autumn song of the goose who flies with ``no compass, no compass but the heart.'' Wallner's paintings incorporate the unique perspectives and partial framing found in his earlier books, such as When the Dark Comes Dancing (Philomel, 1983), but here he uses them to more advantage. The theme of cycles of seasons is played out through circular insets in each painting, an elaborate calendar mandala on the cover and title page, and in delicate wreaths throughout the book. Children will study the pictures for the small and large stories they tell, as well as for signs of the four creatures in the book. The vivid imagery will give young poets some lovely models for thinking about animals in new ways. This will make a fine companion to Myra Cohn Livingston's A Circle of Seasons (Holiday, 1982), as each helps children to feel the changing seasons in unique and beautiful ways. Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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