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Horn Book Picture Book Awards
2017
Freedom Over Me
Book Jacket   Ashley Bryan
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781481456906 Gr 4-6-Using real documents from an estate appraisal dated July 5, 1828, Bryan has created beautiful portrait paintings for 11 people who were named and priced as property on the Fairchildses' estate (the documents are reproduced fully in the endpapers and in segments throughout the work). Relying on narrative poetry to explore each figure's inner and outer life, Bryan gives voice to their history, their longing for freedom, and their skills as artisans, cooks, musicians, carpenters, etc. Each person has two visual portraits, with each accompanied by a poem (on the opposite page). Collaged historical documents of slave auctions fill the negative space of the first portrait frame. The second portrait depicts that person in a private dream, often a dream for safety, family, community, or the freedom to create. Peggy, a self-taught expert herbalist and cook for the Fairchildses, knows that although she works hard, everything goes to the estate. She dreams of her Naming Day ceremony and her parents calling to her, "Mariama! Mariama!" Each portrait reflects the role of song, call-and-response, ceremony, spirituality, community, and griots in living a double life-doing what was demanded while keeping close in their hearts the "precious secret," the constant yearning for freedom. Expertly crafted, these entries will deeply resonate with readers. Referenced in the poems are slave independence in Haiti, the drinking gourd, the North Star, and songs such as "Oh, by and By," "This Little Light," and "Oh Freedom." VERDICT A significant contribution to U.S. and African American history that will elicit compassion and understanding while instilling tremendous pride. A must-purchase for all collections.-Teresa Pfeifer, The Springfield Renaissance School, MA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781481456906 Using a document from 1828 that lists the value of a U.S. landowner's 11 slaves, Bryan (Sail Away) creates distinct personalities and voices for each, painting their portraits and imagining their dreams. He starts with the wife of the slave owner, who felt her husband was good to their slaves ("He never hired an overseer"). But it's quickly clear that "good" slave ownership is an oxymoron: "I work hard-all profit to the estate," their cook Peggy observes. Bryan shows that the enslaved had secret lives of their own: "Years ago blacksmith Bacus and I/ 'jumped the broom'-/ the slave custom for marriage. No legal form for slaves." They cherish their traditions, call each other by their African names ("I am Bisa, 'Greatly Loved'?"), dream of escape, and long for freedom. His portraits show the men, women, and children gazing out at readers, the contours of their faces traced as if carved from wood, while strong rhythmic outlines mimic stained glass, echoing the sense of sacred memory. There are few first-person accounts of slaves, and these imagined words will strike a chord with even the youngest readers. Ages 6-10. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781481456906 Gr 4-6-Documents related to an 1828 estate sale that included, along with hogs and cows, the names and prices of 11 individuals, were the genesis of this tribute to the lives, talents, and community of generations of those who were treated as property and whose humanity was disregarded. Bryan's expressive portrait art allows readers to peer into the faces of these men and women, while his poems unmask their hopes and aspirations. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781481456906 *Starred Review* Inspired by a document appraising the value of 11 enslaved people (along with livestock and cotton) in an estate for sale in the antebellum South, this exceptional book presents the imagined faces and voices of individuals whose society, against all reason, regarded them as less than human. Each person appears in a four-page section, opening with a page of free-verse text opposite a riveting head-and-shoulders portrait with a grim collage background of slavery-related documents. A banner reveals the person's appraised value, master-imposed slave name, and age. In the text, these individuals introduce themselves, their roles on the estate, and the skills (cooking, blacksmithing, sewing) they take pride in. On the second double-page spread, a verse text offers more personal reflections on their African roots, their love of family, and their dreams, while a more detailed, colorful painting expresses their heritage, their strength, and their rich inner lives. Their humanity shines through, showing the tragedy of their status and the gross absurdity of assigning prices to people. Longing for freedom is a constant theme, made all the more poignant by the appraisal document's date: 1828, decades before emancipation. Clean and spare, the verse brings the characters to life, while in the radiant artwork, their spirits soar. Rooted in history, this powerful, imaginative book honors those who endured slavery in America.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2016 Booklist
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781481456906 Bryan restores humanity to ten real-life slaves listed for sale on an 1828 document (plus one fictional slave), giving them ages, African names, relationships, talents, and dreams. Each individual receives two spreads of poetry: the first serves as introduction (accompanied by a wood carvinglike portrait, suggesting the mask each wears for day-to-day life on the plantation); the second (illustrated in brilliant colors) is devoted to his or her dreams. (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781501956652 Gr 4-6-Bryan presents the lives and dreams of 11 enslaved people in free verse. He found their names on a document appraising the property of a deceased estate owner in mid-19th-century America. Eleven enslaved people were listed on that document by name and dollar appraisement along with cattle, horses, and pigs. Bryan has given each individual an age, an occupation, and a dream. Three narrators, Patricia R. Floyd, Kevin R. Free, and Jenny Sterlin, successfully voice them. Estate owner Cado Fairchilds apprenticed his slaves to tradesmen to learn carpentry, metalwork, gardening, pottery, basket making, cooking, and sewing. Each slave takes pride in work well done but longs for a day when labor would be for his or her gain and not for the enrichment of Fairchilds's estate. They all dream of living free, having their personhood respected, coming and going as they please, and marrying and raising a family that will not be divided. Bryan presents a window into plantation life without gruesome details but directed to the heart of every listener. -VERDICT This is a winner with a message for all ages.-Mary Lee Bulat, Harwinton Public Library, CT © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781481456906 Gr 4-6-Using real documents from an estate appraisal dated July 5, 1828, Bryan has created beautiful portrait paintings for 11 people who were named and priced as property on the Fairchildses' estate (the documents are reproduced fully in the endpapers and in segments throughout the work). Relying on narrative poetry to explore each figure's inner and outer life, Bryan gives voice to their history, their longing for freedom, and their skills as artisans, cooks, musicians, carpenters, etc. Each person has two visual portraits, with each accompanied by a poem (on the opposite page). Collaged historical documents of slave auctions fill the negative space of the first portrait frame. The second portrait depicts that person in a private dream, often a dream for safety, family, community, or the freedom to create. Peggy, a self-taught expert herbalist and cook for the Fairchildses, knows that although she works hard, everything goes to the estate. She dreams of her Naming Day ceremony and her parents calling to her, "Mariama! Mariama!" Each portrait reflects the role of song, call-and-response, ceremony, spirituality, community, and griots in living a double life-doing what was demanded while keeping close in their hearts the "precious secret," the constant yearning for freedom. Expertly crafted, these entries will deeply resonate with readers. Referenced in the poems are slave independence in Haiti, the drinking gourd, the North Star, and songs such as "Oh, by and By," "This Little Light," and "Oh Freedom." VERDICT A significant contribution to U.S. and African American history that will elicit compassion and understanding while instilling tremendous pride. A must-purchase for all collections.-Teresa Pfeifer, The Springfield Renaissance School, MA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781481456906 Using a document from 1828 that lists the value of a U.S. landowner's 11 slaves, Bryan (Sail Away) creates distinct personalities and voices for each, painting their portraits and imagining their dreams. He starts with the wife of the slave owner, who felt her husband was good to their slaves ("He never hired an overseer"). But it's quickly clear that "good" slave ownership is an oxymoron: "I work hard-all profit to the estate," their cook Peggy observes. Bryan shows that the enslaved had secret lives of their own: "Years ago blacksmith Bacus and I/ 'jumped the broom'-/ the slave custom for marriage. No legal form for slaves." They cherish their traditions, call each other by their African names ("I am Bisa, 'Greatly Loved'?"), dream of escape, and long for freedom. His portraits show the men, women, and children gazing out at readers, the contours of their faces traced as if carved from wood, while strong rhythmic outlines mimic stained glass, echoing the sense of sacred memory. There are few first-person accounts of slaves, and these imagined words will strike a chord with even the youngest readers. Ages 6-10. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781481456906 Gr 4-6-Documents related to an 1828 estate sale that included, along with hogs and cows, the names and prices of 11 individuals, were the genesis of this tribute to the lives, talents, and community of generations of those who were treated as property and whose humanity was disregarded. Bryan's expressive portrait art allows readers to peer into the faces of these men and women, while his poems unmask their hopes and aspirations. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781481456906 *Starred Review* Inspired by a document appraising the value of 11 enslaved people (along with livestock and cotton) in an estate for sale in the antebellum South, this exceptional book presents the imagined faces and voices of individuals whose society, against all reason, regarded them as less than human. Each person appears in a four-page section, opening with a page of free-verse text opposite a riveting head-and-shoulders portrait with a grim collage background of slavery-related documents. A banner reveals the person's appraised value, master-imposed slave name, and age. In the text, these individuals introduce themselves, their roles on the estate, and the skills (cooking, blacksmithing, sewing) they take pride in. On the second double-page spread, a verse text offers more personal reflections on their African roots, their love of family, and their dreams, while a more detailed, colorful painting expresses their heritage, their strength, and their rich inner lives. Their humanity shines through, showing the tragedy of their status and the gross absurdity of assigning prices to people. Longing for freedom is a constant theme, made all the more poignant by the appraisal document's date: 1828, decades before emancipation. Clean and spare, the verse brings the characters to life, while in the radiant artwork, their spirits soar. Rooted in history, this powerful, imaginative book honors those who endured slavery in America.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2016 Booklist
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781481456906 Bryan restores humanity to ten real-life slaves listed for sale on an 1828 document (plus one fictional slave), giving them ages, African names, relationships, talents, and dreams. Each individual receives two spreads of poetry: the first serves as introduction (accompanied by a wood carvinglike portrait, suggesting the mask each wears for day-to-day life on the plantation); the second (illustrated in brilliant colors) is devoted to his or her dreams. (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2016
Jazz Day
Book Jacket   Roxane Orgill
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780763669546 *Starred Review* In 1958, Esquire was preparing an issue on American jazz, and graphic designer Art Kane pitched the idea of getting as many jazz greats together as possible for a black-and-white photograph. So far, not much here to grab a young audience, right? But sometimes books, like music, are more than the sum of their hooks. Orgill, who has written about jazz for adults (and Ella Fitzgerald for children) is here paired with artist Vallejo, a welcome newcomer to the world of picture books, and they offer a memorable ode to a time and place, a celebration of music that was both hot and cool, and an endearing snapshot of the men and women who wrote, played, and sang jazz. Kane's photograph, Harlem, 1958, is here immortalized in Orgill's poetry, which swings and sways, and Vallejo's vibrant artwork, which captures not just the players but the mood on 126th Street where the photo shoot took place. That there were kids there on that day, leaning out of windows and grabbing Count Basie's hat, adds a child-friendly dimension. For those who want more, there's an enlightening author's note, short but sturdy biographies of those featured in the poems, a list of related books and films, and a key to the photo with all 57 musicians named.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2016 Booklist
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780763669546 On August 12, 1958, fifty-plus jazz musicians gathered in Harlem for a group photo shoot. This iconic photo is the springboard for a series of twenty-one poems and a set of personality-rich illustrations. The words take you back to the photo--reproduced here as a gatefold spread--and the excellent list of sources leads you back to the music. Websites. Bib. (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. In 21 poems, Orgill introduces Art Kane's iconic 1958 Harlem photograph to young readers, spotlighting many of the 57 jazz musicians pictured. Orgill's introduction provides background. Kane, a rising graphic designer, had a big ideagathering as many jazz musicians as possible, at the tender hour of 10 a.m., for an unpaid photo shoot on 126th Street. The inexperienced Kane borrowed cameras to accomplish his goal. Musicians arrived, socialized, laughedignoring Kane. Free verse evokes the scene: "camera guy's sweeping / jazzmen like bundles / toward number 17 / / no one listens / musicians / don't hear / words of instruction / only music." Some poems riff on appearanceappropriate for this group of fastidious dressers. "How to Make a Porkpie Hat" provides instructions from Lester Young himself, then segues to the saxophonist's iconic sound, "soft as butter." Others muse on the day's events, both documented and imagined. The crowning glory: a gatefold reproduction of Kane's photograph; a key's provided for the musicians' identities. Vallejo's acrylic-and-pastel paintings vividly capture the shoot's vignettes and the skittish excitement of neighborhood kids. Pulling details from a 1995 documentary film and other resources, Orgill and Vallejo offer a dynamic, multifaceted work that deftly juxtaposes biography with praise poem, information with imagination. Teachers, librarians, jazz-loving families: take note. (author's note, thumbnail bios, note on the photograph's influence, source notes, bibliography) (Poetry. 8-13) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780763669546 On Aug. 12, 1958, 57 jazz musicians-some legends like Thelonius Monk and Count Basie, some just starting out-gathered on a Harlem stoop for a photograph taken by Art Kane for Esquire magazine. In 21 poems, Orgill (Skit-Skat, Raggedy Cat) drifts between biographical sketches of the musicians, musings on the difficulty of wrangling them into a shot ("musicians/ don't hear/ words of instruction/ only music"), poems about the neighborhood children present, and more. An alphabetical acrostic highlights what they wore ("Regimental/ Striped/ Ties/ Umbrella, unopened"), while "There's a Hole in the Picture" contemplates the absence of Duke Ellington (Orgill even investigated where he actually was that day). When readers eventually open a foldout page to see the photograph, the moment is magic-alive with the presence and skill of the musicians, as well as the promise and potential of the children around them. Beyond being a glorious tribute to these jazz greats, the book is also a phenomenal debut for Vallejo, whose dynamic acrylic and pastel images bring readers into the heart of the action of a day like no other. Ages 8-12. Author's agent: Susan Cohen, Writers House. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780763669546 Gr 4 Up-Readers eavesdrop on the behind-the-scenes making of Art Kane's now-iconic photo, Harlem 1958, which featured many of the era's jazz greats. The warm, eye-popping acrylic and pastel illustrations are in harmony with the direct, evocative prose/poetry, which provides multiple perspectives, from the boys watching on the curb to pianist William "Count" Basie, pianist/composer Mary Lou Williams, and the well-dressed saxophonist Lester "Pres" Young. A wonderful snapshot of one specific place and time. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780763669546 Gr 4 Up-A collection of poetry that focuses on the day graphic designer Art Kane orchestrated the iconic 1958 photograph of American jazz greats on a stoop in Harlem. Though many may recognize the photograph, fewer will know the story of its creation. While working on a special issue of Esquire magazine dedicated to jazz, Kane decided to see how many musicians he could gather in one place. The book starts on the morning the photograph was taken, with Kane standing in the street he's closed for the occasion, nervously hoping his call for appearances will be heeded. The verse spotlights the cast of characters that slowly materializes, with some short biographic poems and even one about Count Basie's hat. The offerings lead up to a foldout spread of the photograph itself, cued by a black page with the word click in white print. The remaining selections address the issue's immediate reception and laud Kane's accomplishment. The text is accompanied by vibrant, spectacular acrylic and pastel paintings by debut illustrator Vallejo. The volume includes an introduction, a lengthy author's note (with a useful key to the photograph), and short biographies of the major players. VERDICT A rich, unique, playful, and masterfully orchestrated work; Kane himself would undoubtedly be proud.-Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781520071053 Gr 4-6-It was a hot August day in 1955 when Art Kane gathered jazz musicians for a photograph for Esquire magazine. He wasn't sure who, if anyone, would show up at the Harlem brownstone he'd chosen for his backdrop. He'd put out the word, and now he could only hold his two cameras and hope. The result was the iconic photograph-Harlem 1958-that features 57 jazz musicians of the time. Count Basie was there, as was Dizzy Gillespie and Willie "the Lion" Smith. In her picture book, author Roxane Orgill dives deep inside that photograph, creating vibrant poems about many of the attendees. In the video, four narrators, male and female, read the text and poetry, capturing its subtlety and rhythm. The poems are enhanced by a close examination of Francis Vallejo's acrylic and pastel paintings, which give homage to the era. In the read-along version, poems dance across the screen, sliding into place like a runner heading home. (Note: in "A Praise Poem for Art Kane," the word praise is misspelled.) When the DVD finally reveals the photograph itself, the reader already knows the players, and its stark beauty is breathtaking. The author includes short biographies for those celebrated in the poems (which includes Duke Ellington, who was not there). VERDICT This is a beautifully done program that will please jazz lovers and, hopefully, inspire a new generation to explore this important part of music -history.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2015
The Farmer and the Clown
 Marla Frazee
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781442497443 PreS-Gr 2-Frazee's controlled palette of subdued golds, browns, and grays offers a fitting backdrop for the hard-working farmer foregrounded in this wordless tale. Bent over his wheat, he misses the drama above as sweeping cloud formations bleed off the page. A swiftly moving circus train on the horizon introduces color and an unexpected visitor, when a bump on the tracks ejects a young clown. Exuberance meets quiet responsibility as the whirlwind in a red one-piece, the small clown, embraces the legs of the old man. Their similar silhouettes invite comparison, while their hats (one black and wide-brimmed, the other red and conical) suggest contrast. Hand in hand, they enter the farmhouse, where softly textured gouache and black pencil scenes in panels of varying shapes and sizes depict shared meals and ablutions, a protective night watch, and unanticipated antics as rust-colored long johns seem to conjure the farmer's playfulness. The bond, conveyed visually through mirrored motions, continues to develop until the train returns. Readers will wonder how to feel in the penultimate scene until they notice a clown with a black hat waving from the caboose, and the final page contains another surprise. This is a tender look at light and shadow, the joy and comfort in companionship, the lift that laughter provides, and the friendship possible among generations (and species). The poignant relationship calls to mind the quiet potency of scenes in Raymond Briggs's The Snowman (Random, 1978) and Sarah Stewart's The Gardener (Farrar, 2007). Lovely.-Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A solitary farmer on an empty plain receives the most unlikely visitor. A tall, scowling farmer labors with a pitchfork on an endless brown field. In the distance, surprisingly, a steam train crosses the horizon. As the train chugs off the edge of the spread, a jolt propels something off the caboose. The startled farmer sets out in that direction. He finds a small clown, wearing white makeup, a red-and-yellow costume and a broad smile. The clown deftly pantomimes having fallen off the trainaction and emotion shine wordlesslyand the farmer takes him home. Silently they stare at each other, eat and wash their faces. Without makeup, the child-clown's smile disappears; is he sad to lose that connection to his home-train, or had the smile been made of makeup all along? With growing tenderness, the farmer watches over his sleeping guest and, come morning, hops and dances to cheer him up. They juggle eggs and share real farmwork until the circus train returns along the distant tracks. Its shape and primary colors make it look like a toy, especially against the soft, textured grays and browns of the farm, skies and earth. Using gouache and black pencil, Frazeea virtuoso of mood and linetakes the surly farmer through bafflement, contemplativeness and true affection.The beauty of an unexpected visit, done beautifully. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781442497443 Appearances can be deceiving in this superb wordless book. A grim-faced farmer comes to the rescue when a circus train hits a bump and ejects a jolly-looking toddler clown. At bedtime, off comes the clown makeup, revealing a scared child; the farmer makes a clown of himself to get a real smile from his guest. A riveting narrative with an impressive range of emotion. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781442497443 In this wordless picture book, a bearded farmer is alarmed to see a young clown tumble out of a passing circus train. The farmer takes the lost big-top performer home and feeds him, but then, as they wash their faces before bed, the young clown loses his makeup and his moxie. The next morning, the farmer works hard to cheer up the boy by making funny faces, and the boy enlivens the farm chores with a series of tricks. Eventually the circus train passes again, and the boy and the farmer rush to get the little clown back to his clown family, who clearly miss him. Frazee uses a muted color palette that matches the quiet, gentle mood of the story. Her simply drawn characters with minimal facial features beautifully convey emotions, particularly when the dour farmer has more pep in his step after he and the clown go separate ways (but trade hats first). Little ones will delight in the farmer clowning around to the last page, which promises a fun surprise for the old man.--Kan, Kat Copyright 2014 Booklist
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  Book Jacket
2014
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild
 Peter Brown
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780316200639 Mr. Tiger, bored in his very drab, very proper community, drops to all fours, sheds his clothing, and runs wild. This is a book made for storytime, with its bold mixed-media illustrations, and a plot with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Children, who get tired of grownups and their requests for proper behavior, will relate to Mr. Tiger. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780316200639 In a gratifying parable about self-actualization, Mr. Tiger lives in a drab society where bipedal animals dressed in fairly Victorian apparel exchange terse salutations, while adhering to rules of etiquette. Though similarly attired in a handsome suit coat and top hat, Mr. Tiger disrupts Brown's (You Will Be My Friend!) manicured spreads, which are colored in the ashy browns of daguerreotypes; he's the color of a mango, has lime green eyes, and faces readers with an expression of barely constrained disgruntlement. Mr. Tiger mechanically runs through the motions (stiffly lifting his hat to greet Mr. Deer), but, "He wanted to loosen up. He wanted to have fun. He wanted to be... wild." Mr. Tiger's expression turns to delight as he scampers on all fours, sheds his clothes, and heads to the wilderness-"where he went completely wild!" His eventual return to civilization reveals that liberation is on the rise. Readers who prefer the view from underneath the dinner table will find a kindred soul in Brown's brightly burning character who knows that the wilderness is always waiting, should the need arise. Ages 3-6. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780316200639 K-Gr 2-Mr. Tiger lives in a perfectly fine world of prim and proper ladies and gentlemen. One day, the stiff suits, dainty teas, and Victorian manners begin to bore him. and he has a very wild idea. This "it's okay to be different" story stands out from other picture books on the topic thanks to Brown's delightfully clever illustrations and masterful compositions. From the tiger-striped cover that begs to be petted to the ingenious pops of bright orange (Brown's new signature color?) amid muted browns and grays, the award-winning illustrator does not disappoint. Children will appreciate Mr. Tiger's transformation and the way his friends eventually accept his (and their own) uniqueness. Several wordless spreads encourage audience participation while subtle visual clues gently build his character. A full spread featuring the newly liberated Mr. Tiger au naturel is delivered with pitch-perfect comedic timing and is guaranteed to inspire wild giggles. Sure to be an instant read-aloud classic in classrooms and libraries.-Kiera Parrott, Darien Library, CT (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780316200639 *Starred Review* Opening endpapers of orderly gray bricks introduce a community of proper Victorian animals getting about their business with smileless politesse. But Mr. Tiger, his bright-orange face a sore thumb among the elephant grays and mule-deer browns, dreams of freedom. First, he drops to all fours. His neighbors are nonplussed. Then, he rampages and roars. His neighbors are frightened. Finally, he gets naked. The village members suggest he head into the wilderness, which he thinks is a magnificent idea. He loves the wilderness, with all its wildness, but, in time, he misses the city and his friends. He returns only to discover that things have loosened to a happy medium. He dons some aloha attire, and all is right with the world. Closing endpapers of haphazard greenery celebrate the welcome change. Brown highlights the differences between municipal propriety and savage abandon with color and composition. The city is all upright, sepia, rectilinear precision; the wild, sweeping vistas of lush, verdant paradise, and their final amalgam form a nice balance. With its skewed humor and untamed spirit, this joyous exploration of quasi-reverse anthropomorphism will delight listeners again and again.--Barthelmess, Thom Copyright 2010 Booklist
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2013
Building Our House
Book Jacket   Jonathan Bean
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780374380236 Bean draws on childhood memories to demonstrate the process of building a house, DIY-style. A little girl narrates the engaging and warm account; the steps are broken down into captions for half-page panels, while moments of greater import, such as setting the corners for the foundation, receive full- and double-page spreads. Family and friends make not just a house but a cozy home. (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780374380236 PreS-Gr 2-A year-and-a-half-long adventure of building a cozy home in the countryside involves an entire family of four. The oldest child describes the construction of the house, expertly shown in appealing soft-colored illustrations that vary in size from full spreads to small vignettes. Water and electricity are shown being connected to a temporary home in a trailer so the family can live on the property while the work is being done. Friends and family help out from time to time during the creation of the small timber-frame home, but the girl's parents perform the majority of work on their own (a third child arrives in the course of the story). Engaging pictures are reminiscent of Lisa Campbell Ernst's charming illustrations and are based on the building of the author/illustrator's childhood home. An author's note includes Bean's family photographs. Lovingly told, this captivating tale will help satisfy a child's curiosity of what it takes to create a building from scratch.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780977709830 PreS-Gr 2-Jonathan Bean's fictionalized memoir of his family building a house in the countryside is a fascinating tale of hard work and perseverance. The award-winning picture book (Farrar, 2013) translates well to the DVD format with Bean's clear, detailed illustrations taking on a three-dimensional quality as the camera scans the engaging pictures. The film begins with the family moving into a small trailer close to the building site, then viewers are shown the step-by-step construction process. Gathering stone, sand, rocks and lumber, the family gets the huge weekend project underway. The majority of the work is done by two parents and their two small offspring, other than the raising of the frame and moving-in day, when they rely on help from friends and other family members. Sound effects add to the work but don't compete with the reader's voice. A younger-sounding narrator may have been more fitting as the child relating the story is quite small, and a slightly longer running time of 10 to 12 minutes would have served the tale well, especially as the DVD offers a second, read-along video, which flows too rapidly for beginning readers to follow. Those quibbles aside, viewers will enjoy learning the steps needed to build a house.-Maryann H. Owen, Mt. Pleasant, WI (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780374380236 Not unlike Dan Yaccarino did in All the Way to America, Bean (At Night) turns family history into something larger, in this case a romantic portrait of the rewards of diligence, teamwork, and a DIY mentality. In a concluding note accompanied by family photos, Bean explains that the story is based on his family's experience of building a farmhouse when he was a toddler. A sense of familial dedication and cohesiveness fills the pages, with narration coming from a character modeled after Bean's older sister. The pale, matte illustrations are a flurry of activity (and filled with the sort of construction details that children adore), as the family equips a trailer to serve as temporary digs, buys lumber, builds a foundation, hosts a frame-raising party, and eventually turns to interior work. Bean's pictures provide a supplementary visual narrative (Mom becomes pregnant, an infant appears), and the father offers suitably dadlike truisms like "The right tool for the right job" throughout. A warm look at the nuts and bolts of building a house and turning it into a home. Ages 3-6. Agent: Anna Webman, Curtis Brown. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780374380236 An author's note reveals that this picture book is based on personal experience, as Bean's parents built their own house when he was a young child. Here we follow a mother, father, two children (and, eventually, a new baby) over the course of a year and a half through a harsh winter and plenty of lumber pickups all the way to move-in day at their new abode. Told from the point of view of the oldest child, a girl, the challenges and rewards involved in constructing from scratch become clear. The kids are not exempt from the do-it-yourself action, and they happily help fill the loud mixing machine. Bean (At Night, 2007) makes use of every inch of the tall trim size here, filling his pages to the brim with heavily lined illustrations of bustling people and activity often as a series of four vignettes across a spread. What's heartwarming throughout is the depiction of a tight-knit family ( My family makes up a strong crew of four ). The author's concluding personal photos add to the loving feel.--Kelley, Ann Copyright 2010 Booklist
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Bean sets aside the urban setting of his Boston GlobeHorn Book Award winner, At Night (2007), in this homage to his back-to-the-land parents, who built his childhood home in the 1970s. Told from the perspective of Bean's older sister, the story revels in the practical work of house-building, demystifying the stages of construction in a matter-of-fact, engaging tone. The oversized, portrait format echoes the height of the house the family builds, but front endpapers first show a vast, rural landscape in the foreground of which lies the "weedy field Dad and Mom bought from a farmer." Frontmatter depicts them packing and leaving the city. Ensuing spreads detail how they live in a trailer on their new property while slowly building the house: setting the corners of the foundation; digging out the basement; gathering rocks and using them in the foundation; measuring, marking and cutting timber for the frame; and so on. The scene depicting a frame-raising party situates the little homesteading family in a loving community of relatives and friends who gather to help; then, right after they all move in, the family grows when both Mom and the pet cat have babies. Throughout, the watercolor-and-ink illustrations invite close examination for narrative details such as these while also providing ample visual information about construction. Raise the roof for this picture book. It's something special. (Picture book. 3-8)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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2012
Extra Yarn
Book Jacket   Mac Barnett
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780545695084 PreS-Gr 2-In a colorless town, Annabelle finds a box of colorful yarn. She knits a sweater for herself and one for her dog and still has more yarn, so she begins to knit for more people. Soon she is knitting for everything and everyone in and around the town, and still she does not run out of yarn! The town begins to change, and word starts to spread. When an archduke arrives demanding Annabelle's box of yarn, she refuses to give it up. The Archduke steals it, but the results are not what he planned. This quiet tale shows how one person can make a big difference in the lives around them. Listeners will want to keep the print copy nearby since much of the story of the village's colorful transformation is told through the illustrations. Background music complements Nicola Barber's reading and adds to the mood of the tale. VERDICT Readers young and old will delight in this lovely story.-Elizabeth Elsbree, Krug Elementary School, Aurora, IL (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780061953385 Understated illustrations and prose seamlessly construct an enchanting and mysterious tale about a girl named Annabelle, who lives in a world "where everywhere you looked was either the white of snow or the black of soot from chimneys." After Annabelle finds a box filled with yarn of every color, she immediately sets out to knit sweaters for everyone she knows. Barnett's (Mustache!) story is both fairy tale lean and slyly witty. No matter how many sweaters Annabelle knits, the box always has "extra yarn" for another project, until the entire town is covered with angled stitches in muted, variegated colors-people, animals, and buildings alike. (Fans of Klassen's I Want My Hat Back may suspect that a few of the animals from that story have wandered into this one.) A villainous archduke offers to buy the box, but Annabelle refuses. He steals it, but finds it contains no yarn at all, and with the help of just a bit more magic, it finds its way back to Annabelle. Barnett wisely leaves the box's magic a mystery, keeping the focus on Annabelle's creativity, generosity, and determination. Ages 4-8. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780061953385 *Starred Review* This understated picture book is certain to spark the imagination of every child who comes upon it, and what could be better than that? Annabelle lives in a black-and-white world, where everything is drab, drab, drab. So imagine her surprise when she finds a box filled with yarn of every color. Armed with the yarn and knitting needles, she makes herself a sweater, but after she finishes, she finds that she has extra yarn left over. After knitting a sweater for her dog, her classmates, and various (hilariously unsurprised) bunnies and bears, she still has extra yarn. So, Annabelle turns her attention to things that don't usually wear wool cozies: houses and cars and mailboxes. Soon an evil archduke with a sinister mustache who was very fond of clothes hears about the magic box of never-ending yarn, and he wants it for his own. Reading like a droll fairy tale, this Barnett-Klassen collaboration is both seamless and magical. The spare, elegant text and art are also infused with plenty of deadpan humor. Klassen (I Want My Hat Back, 2011) uses ink, gouache, and digital illustration to fashion Annabelle's world out of geometric shapes, set against dark, saturated pages, and against white as the town comes to colorful, stitched life. Quirky and wonderful, this story quietly celebrates a child's ingenuity and her ability to change the world around her.--Kelley, Ann Copyright 2010 Booklist
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780061953385 K-Gr 3-In a snow- and soot-covered town, Annabelle discovers a small black box filled with colorful yarn. She knits a sweater for herself, but there's still yarn left over. From the seemingly inexhaustible supply, she knits sweaters for her dog, a boy and his dog, her classmates, her mean teacher, her parents, and people in town. In an astounding feat of urban knitting, she covers the buildings in sweatery goodness, but the yarn does not run out. Disaster strikes when a mustachioed, piratical archduke arrives, demanding that the child sell him the magic box. When she declines, he steals it but does not benefit from his crime, as he finds it empty. In a fit of rage, the archduke curses Annabelle and flings the box into the sea. Happily, it finds its way back to her full of yarn again. Klassen's deadpan, stylized illustrations impeccably complement Barnett's quirky droll writing. Small details like a dog's sneer or sweater-covered mailboxes add to the subtle humor. The cheerful colors of the yarn contrast with the somber grays and blacks of the town. Give this one to fans of offbeat stories like Florence Heide's Princess Hyacinth: (The Surprising Story of a Girl Who Floated) (Random, 2009) or to young knitting enthusiasts.-Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, Chappaqua Library, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Coraline, uses inks, gouache and colorized scans of a sweater to create a stylized, linear design of dark geometric shapes against a white background. The stitches of the sweaters add a subdued rainbow. Barnett entertained middle-grade readers with his Brixton Brothers detective series. Here, he maintains a folkloric narrative that results in a traditional story arc complete with repetition, drama and a satisfying conclusion. A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached. (Picture book. 4-7)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780061953385 When young Annabelle finds a box containing yarn of every color, she knits herself a sweater. Then she knits one for her dog and everyone else in her colorless town. An archduke steals the box, but the magic doesn't work for him and all is made right. Impeccably paced brown ink and digitally created illustrations pair nicely with the translucent, lightly inked knitwear. (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2011
Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes
 Salley Mayor
  Book Jacket
2010
I Know Here
 Laurel Croza
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780888999238 A little girl's family is moving from its one-road community in the wilderness to Toronto. The narrative is intensely first-personal, as the girl describes the things and places that matter most to her. While the text is deliberate and declarative, the illustrations are extravagantly expressionistic; round, comforting shapes are everywhere, from the curve of the purple-black road to the communal old-fashioned TV. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780888999238 Gr 2-5-Moving from rural Saskatchewan to the city holds a lot of opportunity for a girl and her brother. The young protagonist experiences her share of apprehension as well, "This is where I live. I don't know Toronto. I know here." "Here" is first described as a single, trailer-lined road that runs from the dam that her father is working on to the school. Readers are then treated to the flora and fauna of the forest, hills, and creeks that the girl will miss. There's the man who delivers the groceries, her teacher, and her classmates, too. Miss Hendrickson suggests that she draw a picture encompassing all that she'd like to remember. She does and after sharing it with the class, she folds it away for safekeeping. "I will fold up the howl of the wolf and the smell of the fox in his cage...and the feel of my heart beating fast as I swooped over my road in a five-seater airplane. I will fold my drawing up small, put it safe in my pocket and I will take my road with me. To Toronto." The simple, straightforward text is spot-on in capturing the child's sensibilities and feelings. James's vibrant acrylic and India ink on panel artwork brings the girl's world to life, with its starkness, beauty, and haunting appeal. The stylized paintings at times have a surreal quality and are almost dreamlike in their composition. A regional look at a universal slice of childhood.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Going walkabout down the small stretch of country road that she and her family are about to leave, a child offers a mildly comforting strategy to others who are about to pull up stakes. Her little brother is excited about moving to Toronto, but to the narrator, "This is where I live. I don't know Toronto. I know here." "Here" is rural Saskatchewan, where her family has been living while her father worked on a hydroelectric dam, now complete. Walking from home to school ("only me in grade three") and back, she counts her community's house trailers along the roadside, waves to a familiar passerby and recalls sighting a moose and hearing wolves in the surrounding woods. Her mood lightens at last when she realizes that she can capture and retain at least some of her small world by drawing pictures of it. James's vividly colored, nave-style scenes capture the bright intensity of the child's inner and outer landscapes and also the unaffected way in which she observes them. Good for sharing. (Picture book. 7-9) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780888999238 Based on the author's childhood memories of leaving northeastern Saskatchewan for Toronto, this debut picture book captures a child's fear of moving with a touch of magic realism. Both words and pictures show a little girl's frustration and uncertainty when she learns that she will be uprooted ( I don't know Toronto ) and her sadness at leaving behind what she knows and loves. Before she moves, she lives in a trailer park where her dad is building a dam, and energetic, colorful pictures in acrylic and india ink show her playing hide-and-seek in the forest, listening to wolves howl at night, and going to school with nine other kids: only me in grade three. She is terrified of the city, and the pictures show her imagined images of big looming buildings that look like monsters. Kids facing their own wrenching upheavals will take heart in the girl's celebration of her roots and what she knows about herself and the world, all of which give her strength to move on.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist
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  Book Jacket
 
2009
Bubble Trouble
Book Jacket   Margaret Mahy
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780689505577 Gr 3-5-- Five preposterous stories and narrative poems depict some unusual domestic catastrophes and their creative solutions. ``Bubble Trouble'' deals with a bubble that wafts a baby up into the air until, finally, a pebble shot from a sling-shot (shades of Kahl's The Duchess Bakes a Cake Scribners, 1955; o.p.) brings the child to safety. Word play and alliteration make this nonsense verse a good read-aloud. In ``The Runaway Reptiles,'' an alligator and crocodile disguised as elderly grandparents by their caregivers meet over the back fence, fall in love, and elope. ``Hiccups'' tells, in lilting rhyme, about the transfer of a baby's hiccups to an unsuspecting granny. ``The Gargling Gorilla'' is another ludicrous tale of a young boy who is afraid of gorillas and imagines one hiding under the kitchen cupboard. Finally, ``The Springing Granny'' is a lighthearted verse about a woman who, in winter, creates her own tropical paradise until spring returns. Slight and contrived as these five pieces are, children who have mastered beginning readers may be tickled by the inventive words and zany situations. Sketchy line drawings in black-and-white look amateurish, but capture the craziness of the stories. Not a priority purchase, but harmless fun. --Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780547074214 The trouble begins when sister Mabel blows a bubble that bobbles over baby and wafts him away. Baby floats over mother, past the neighbors, and through the busy streets as bystanders join the chase. How to bring baby down? A human ladder forms and a slingshot finally solves the problem, but then who's going to catch the baby? Mahy is clearly in love with language here, as she offers a text that flounces and bounces like the baby in the bubble: But she bellowed, / 'Gracious, Greville!' / and she groveled on the gravel / when the baby in the bubble / bibble-bobbled overhead. Dunbar uses watercolors accented with cut paper to chronicle the silliness. The story goes on a bit long for the youngest, but children will find their ears perking up at the tongue-twisting text, and they may become word lovers, too, after listening to this.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2009 Booklist
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780547074214 Starred Review. PreS-Gr 2-A truckload of trouble and mountains of mayhem ensue when young Mabel blows a bubble that enfolds her baby brother and carries him aloft. He is pursued by his frantic mother and sister, "crumpled Mr. Copple and his wife," "feeble Mrs. Threeble," "Greville Gribble," the chapel choir, and other townsfolk. The text floats in waves along with the bouncing baby across the energetic watercolor and cut-paper spreads. Dressed in stripes and plaids, nightshirts and jogging suits, the crowd sprints along through backyards and gardens, gesticulating wildly as the smiling infant floats by. Eventually, the rescuers form a human ladder to reach him. But Abel, "a rascal and a rebel," performs a dastardly deed with his slingshot and the people watch in horror as the baby plummets through the air. It takes three page turns for readers to reach the delightful resolution of this perilous predicament. There is no mistaking the baby's happy landing as his smiling face and waving arms and feet fill the spread. This tale, with its over-the-top silliness, is a storyhour gem. And with some practice, the rhyme, alliterative phrases, and names will fall trippingly off the tongue. Fabulous fun!-Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780689505577 Fiction: Y Three story poems and two short prose narratives introduce a crazy cast of characters, from a pair of lovesick saurians to a baby wafted away in a bubble. While the madcap pace may not quite match the sustained humor of [cf2]The Blood-and-Thunder Adventure on Hurricane Peak[cf1] (McElderry), the blending of quirkily frenetic line drawings with verbal acrobatics has its own zany charm for audiences with a taste for offbeat fun. Horn Rating: Recommended, satisfactory in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: mmb (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Mabel blows a bubble that envelops her baby brother, gently wafting him all over the village, causing shock and excitement among the population. Chrysta and Greville Gribble, Tybal and his mother Sybil, the crabby Copples, feeble Mrs. Treeble and Canon Dapple come up with an improbable plan to catch the bubbled baby. Meanwhile, mischievous rebel Abel bursts the bubble with his slingshot and the villagers gallantly come to the rescue by catching him in a quilt. The action moves with breathless frenzy. Mahy is a master at creating verse that is as light and airy as the baby's bubble. Filled with lovely Briticisms, alliterative nonsense words, double, triple and internal rhymes, it's meant to be read aloud"Again!"and will lead both breathless readers and listeners to delighted giggles. The text floats across the pages in waves and arcs, and Dunbar's joyous watercolor-andcut-paper illustrations are wonderfully expressive, a visual treat moving apace with the text. A frothy, effervescent gift. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780689505577 Those lucky enough to have heard Mahy recite it will remember the title poem here, beginning ``Little Mabel blew a bubble and it caused a lot of trouble--/Such a lot of bubble trouble in a bibble-bobble way./For it broke away from Mabel as it bobbed across the table,/Where it bobbled over Baby, and it wafted him away'': a masterpiece of witty legerdemain with sound and sense in a breathtaking score of quatrains involving an entire neighborhood before ``the baby boy was grounded and his mother held him tight.'' The other entries--two more narrative poems and two imaginative tales--aren't up to the same standard (hardly anything could be, even from Mahy), but they're amusing enough, especially a ridiculous tale about an alligator and a crocodile, disguised as the respective grandparents of a courting human couple who fall in love and elope. Acting, for the first time, as her own illustrator, Mahy provides drawings that, while less deft than her wordplay, offer lively glimpses of the author's own insights into her characters. For that hilarious first poem, which should become a classic, a must. (Poetry/Fiction. 8-12)
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780689505577 Gr. 3-6. Everyone needs a bit of nonsense every once in a while, and Mahy's particular brand of silliness is just too good to miss. Her humorous collection of poems and stories will have bold teachers and librarians as well as children wanting to perform and read aloud: "Little Mabel blew a bubble and it caused a lot of trouble-- / Such a lot of bubble trouble in a bibble-bobble way. / For it broke away from Mabel as it bobbed across the table, / Where it bobbled over Baby, and it wafted him away." After rambling hilariously for several more pages, Baby's poetic adventures end quite happily with his landing safely in a patchwork-quilt net. Mahy's other four selections are also lively and amusing, and her suitably droll pen-and-ink illustrations add to the general merriment. ~--Chris Sherman
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780547074214 When Mabel blows a bubble, it causes trouble in an inimitable Mahy way, surrounding Baby and taking him on an amazing adventure. The text's tongue-stumbling internal rhymes will keep storytellers on their toes while Dunbar's cut-paper and watercolor illustrations faithfully depict every detail. As suspense builds in both words and pictures, little ones' eyes will be as round as the bubble. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
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2008
At Night
Book Jacket   Jonathan Bean
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780374304461 "*Starred Review* In a dark house, a girl lies awake while her family sleeps. Then a breeze floats through a window, and she follows it through her room, up a staircase, and onto a rooftop garden, where she makes a nest of chairs, pillows, and blankets, and finally falls asleep under a starry sky. Illustrator Bean makes his authorial debut in this quiet story that mixes a touch of whimsy with a meditative sense of calm. The spare sentences have a lulling rhythm that echo the words' soothing references to breath and breeze, while the silvery, ink-and-watercolor pictures add a quiet drama. Frames resembling movie stills zoom in on the solitary, small girl in the big room, and then zoom out in expansive aerial views as the girl gains a comforting sense of the wide world all around her. Kids will recognize the girl's thrill in her small, private adventure, even as they're deeply reassured when Mom appears and sits with her sleeping daughter. Pair this peaceful, moonlit offering with Elisha Cooper's A Good Night Walk (2005)."--"Engberg, Gillian" Copyright 2007 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780374304461 Bean (The Apple Pie That Papa Baked; reviewed below) creates almost magical rhythms in this pitch-perfect story. As the opening pages describe bedtime at the main character's urban house ("At night, after her brother and sister went to bed/ long after her parents whispered "Good night, happy dreams!" and went to sleep"), square watercolor panels move from scenes in the emptying hallway and into the girl's room. There, readers learn, she lies "AWAKE," and the blank space surrounding the single, jarring word contains all the feeling in the close-up of the girl's face, seen for the first time on the opposite page. The plot is so quiet it would escape a lesser writer: lured by a breeze, the girl brings pillows and bedding up to the roof, followed by her cat (and, unbeknown to her, by her mother). Bean makes a visual poetics of this concept as the square panels now yield to full-spread illustrations. The artist supplies luminous aerial scenes of the roof garden amid a friendly, well-lit cityscape, then zooms out for more panoramic views ("She thought about the wide world around her and smiled"). His eye returns to rest on an image of the girl and her cat, comfortable at last in an improvised bed, at home in the world. The story breathes reassurance and adventure at the same time-just in case, after the girl has fallen asleep, the mother appears by her side. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Small in both size and concept, this sweet, gentle story is perfectly constructed and balanced. A girl is awake in her room; her parents and siblings are asleep, but she's lying there thinking. A breeze beckons her, so she—and the cat—bring pillows and blankets up to the building's rooftop. She makes herself cozy amid the hanging laundry and the geraniums, "in the night, under the sky. . . . [and] thought about the wide world all around her and smiled." As she sleeps, readers see her mom, who had heard her stir from bed, sit down beside her up on the roof. Bean's warmly composed pictures of a Brooklyn brownstone are all in deep browns and sepias; the rooftop opening to the river and the sky are in the hazy grays and blues of urban summer nights. The child, her siblings and her mother all have long dark hair; Dad's is curly and lighter. Mom's fuzzy peach robe and dad's flannel shirt are pleasing foils to the solid dark furniture and architectural accents that so suit the house. Quietly lovely. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780374304461 PreS-K-This quiet book tells the story of a city girl who can't sleep. When she feels a breeze blow in through her open window, she gathers pillows, her blanket, and the family cat and follows the wind up to the roof of her building. She doesn't realize that her mother is also awake and is trailing her up the stairs. On the rooftop, the child snuggles into a bed made of two chairs pulled together and contemplates the wide world and the open sky, eventually falling asleep. The final scene shows her mother, sitting next to her and thoughtfully gazing at the full moon. The watercolor illustrations, some full-page, some panels, perfectly depict the shadows, darkness, and light of the slumbering city. The volume's small size makes it most appropriate for sharing one-to-one.-Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2007
Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories
 Laura Vaccaro Seeger
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781596430532 PreS-Gr 2-In this endearing picture book, a tail-wagging dachshund and a multicolored stuffed bear star in three tales about friendship. In the first, Dog wants to go outside, but Bear is perched atop a tall chair and can't get down. It takes encouragement and ingenuity, but the pooch eventually helps his pal descend; unfortunately, Bear's scarf has been left behind. Next, Dog wants to play and brings out numerous toys, but Bear is busy reading. At last, he closes his book and asks, "What shall we do?," and the pup appears with a stack of volumes ("Read to me!"). Finally, Dog decides to change his name. Bear points out that none of the traditional canine choices is suitable, imagining what his friend would be like if he were called Spot (speckled with colorful dots), Fluffy (pink, with a cotton-candy body), or Prince (dressed in royal regalia). They reach a consensus when Bear suggests "My Best Friend Dog" (Dog for short). The characters and a few highlighted objects are drawn with thick black lines, colored with bright variegated hues, and set against white backdrops. The eye-catching artwork shines with humor and warmth. Told with simplicity and charm, this story is appropriate for sharing aloud or for newly confident readers.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781596430532 Seeger, whose Black? White! Day? Night! (2006) was a 2007 Booklist Editors' Choice, introduces a pair of endearing animal friends in this winning picture book. Bear is a multicolored stuffed toy; Dog is a playful, rowdy dachshund. In three distinct stories, Bear and Dog solve problems, tussle, and enjoy the warm feelings that friendship brings. In the first episode, Dog helps timid Bear down from a high stool. In the second, Dog wants to play, but Bear needs some quiet time alone. And in the final story, Dog suffers a small identity crisis, but Bear helps him recognize that he is just fine as he is. The distinct stories give this the feel of a beginning chapter book, and Seeger's minimal text is perfectly paced for new readers, who will love the dose of humor at each story's close. In pictures as spare and charming as the text, Seeger captures preschoolers' expressions and body language in her animals, painted in elemental shapes lined in black and set against empty white backgrounds that keep the focus squarely on the characters. Young children who have discovered their own first best friends will recognize the highs and lows, and they'll want to add Bear and Dog to their list of favorite animal pals. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2007 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781596430532 As inventive and fresh as Seeger's Hidden Alphabet, the three gentle stories in this inspired collection are utterly charming. Emerging readers will take to the rambunctious dachshund and winsome stuffed bear, and will find the bold font of the economical text easy to follow. Each story's conflict is satisfyingly resolved with a surprise ending that reflects these unique individuals. When Dog rattles off his inappropriate suggestions for changing his boring name, Bear suggests that Dog change his name to "My Best Friend Dog." Dog is delighted, but then blithely suggests that Bear call him "Dog for short." The uncluttered illustrations, in thick black line and swirling bright watercolor wash, work seamlessly with stories that rely on humor both child-centered and unexpected. When Dog coaches the timid bear off of a high chair ("Take one step. One little, tiny step"), their faces deftly mirror their emotions. Seeger comically combines Bear's narration of a story he is trying to read with Dog's rambunctious pleas ("Play with me! Play with me!"). When Bear finally puts his book down and asks what they should play, dog answers, "Read to me! Read to me!" After turning the last page, young readers will beg the same for this enchanting trio of tales. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781596430532 As in all successful friendship stories, the balance shifts, with Dog (a dachshund) and Bear (a teddy bear) taking turns being the friend-in-need and the friend indeed. The two are drawn with robust black ink outlines and filled in with paint in five colors using thick, visibly uneven brush strokes, giving the pictures an energetic, endearingly childlike quality. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
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  Book Jacket
2006
Leaf Man
 Lois Ehlert
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Ehlert's vision and invention do not fail in this clever look at leaves in all their fall glory. "A Leaf Man's got to go where the wind blows" is the refrain, beginning with a recumbent figure made of leaves, with acorns for eyes and a sweet-gum mouth. Ehlert makes all of these marvelous pictures with color photocopies of leaves: the chickens, the fields of pumpkins and squash, the cows and the fish in the lakes that Leaf Man passes over. She further enhances the textured-and-painted-paper background by die-cut edges on the tops of most of the oversized double-paged spreads featuring scalloped rolling hills, pinked sheared meadows and curved rivers. Leaf Man makes his journey, ending in a tumble of leaves with potential for another figure. Beguiled young readers and listeners will be further entranced by the endpapers where Ehlert names the leaves (different on front and back) and the dust jacket where she identifies unknown leaves by place of origin. Excellent to read aloud and to look at many times over. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780152053048 PreS-Gr 3-Ehlert combines vivid collage artwork, effulgent colors, and an inventive design to create an eye-catching picture book. With a body made of fallen leaves and acorns for eyes, Leaf Man takes off from a backyard and flutters away on the breeze, meandering past animals, over fields of fall vegetables, above waterways, and across prairie meadows. The text suggests a range of possible destinations, along with the refrain, "Well, a Leaf Man's got to go where the wind blows." Finally, readers are encouraged to listen for "a rustle in the leaves" and maybe find a Leaf Man of their own to take home. From ducks to pumpkins to fish, all of the objects described are fashioned out of life-size leaves of various shapes, sizes, and hues and set against backgrounds of textured paper. The die-cut pages curve and bend across the top edge, suggesting undulating mountains set against a sky-blue backdrop. The various leaves and seeds are identified on the endpapers. While the story is simple, the artwork is dazzling, and the book's concept will inspire nature walks, art projects, and curiosity about the changing seasons.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780152053048 PreS-Gr. 2. Ehlert's imaginative way with picture books in general and those of the natural world in particular continues with this eye-popping book that follows one bold maple leaf with acorn eyes as the wind blows it here and there. In a brief author's note, Ehlert describes how she picks up leaves wherever she goes. She uses them--gathered from oaks, hawthorns, elms, beeches, and more--to great affect here, cleverly shaping them into the many animals and objects the leaf flies over: chickens, fruits and vegetables and lakes, fish, and rivers. Hints of whimsy are cleverly incorporated in the figures (the tips of a maple leaf form a cow's udder), and scalloped edgings on the tops of the pages, cut at varying heights, artfully give the effect of setting the action against a three-dimensional landscape. There is no real story here, but the book can easily translate into a guessing game, as young eyes pick out the slightly camouflaged shapes. The bright colors and distinctive shapes will make it a pleasure for children to do just that. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2005 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780152053048 Ehlert (Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf) returns to one of her favorite themes-the rainbow beauty of autumn leaves-for this refreshing riff on leaf peeping and collecting. A narrator recalls the Leaf Man that used to live nearby but recently blew away with the wind. "He left no travel plans." From that breezy beginning, the narrator imagines the different flight patterns the Leaf Man may have followed "past the chickens, toward the marsh,... over the prairie meadows,... past the spotted cows," and punctuates the lyrical text with an occasional refrain ( "a Leaf Man's got to go where the wind blows"). All the while, Ehlert sparks her foliage flight of fancy with her snazzy leaf collages. Fiery maple, brown mottled catalpa and bright yellow ginko leaves take the shape of various animals and objects on each spread. The boldly colored background papers, of varying texture, make the leaves pop. And, in the type of clever book design for which Ehlert is known, the pages are die-cut and/or patchworked at the top to create a rolling, flowing effect throughout. Endpapers serve as a labeled field guide to leaf varieties and an author's note expresses Ehlert's passion for her subject, and describes her art technique. After this visual feast, young nature lovers are sure to look with fresh eyes as they walk through the woods. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780152053048 Collages made from color photocopies of leaves, on pages die-cut to suggest layered hills, expertly deliver the delight and imaginative appeal of a crisp fall day. The unseen narrator's search for the wind-blown?""Leaf Man"" entails more leaf creations, whole or skillfully cut to represent, for example, fruit on a tree or fish in a lake or river. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
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  Book Jacket
 
2005
Traction Man is Here
Book Jacket   Mini Grey
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780375931918 The title's handsome, square-jawed action figure, uniformed in ""dazzle-painted battle pants,"" takes on many risky assignments. With sly good humor, British author-illustrator Grey gives life both to Traction Man and the young boy orchestrating his adventures. Her illustrations show a cheerfully disheveled home, teeming with raw material for imaginative play. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780375931918 PreS-Gr 2-This imaginative and very funny romp through the fantasy play of a young boy features his newly acquired action figure. Square-jawed and equipped with combat boots, scuba gear, space suit, and camouflage, Traction Man overcomes evil pillows, dastardly brooms, a poisonous dishcloth, and a wicked spade. But he and his little scrub-brush pet seem to be no match for Granny, who presents the action figure with a nerdy knitted green romper suit and bonnet. The evil-doers laugh at his silly get-up until Scrubbing Brush unravels the yarn to help Traction Man save a clutch of hapless spoons and he is once more the heroic figure. The angular, full-color art sweeps across the pages and perfectly animates the antics of Traction Man and his enemies. Grey has a way of exactly catching the nuances of a child's ability to turn even the most common object into a friend or looming foe in the never-ending battle between good and evil. This fresh, funny hero and Grey's celebration of a child's imagination definitely have traction.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Traction Man is ready for anything—but can he overcome the gift of an all-in-one knitted green romper suit with matching bonnet? Traction Man is most definitely an action figure, NOT a doll: His accessories include a sub-aqua suit, a space suit, a warfare shirt and a deep-sea diving suit. As narrated by the little boy who receives him for Christmas, his life is one adventure after another, but Granny's gift of the odious all-in-one knitted green romper suit with matching bonnet is almost too much for this doughty hero, until faithful companion Scrubbing Brush leads him to an ingenious solution. The intentionally overwrought voice-over is just exactly right, as are the comic-book style panels and the impossibly square-jawed hero. Occasional full-bleed spreads place Traction Man in his context with his owner (and parental admonishments occasionally and appropriately intrude), but for the most part, he and Scrubbing Brush are allowed the liberty to develop fully in their own right, their owner's imagination giving them all the life their readers will want. An absolutely, hilariously, dead-on perfect celebration of the relationship between child and toy. (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780375831911 A cluttered house, lovingly rendered in comic-book panels by Grey (The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-Be), provides a perilous landscape for the titular square-jawed action figure. Readers infer Traction Man's origins from a "Dear Santa" letter on the title page ("I expect you know about what happened to my old Traction Man and the Terrible Parachute Accident") and a gift-box on a sleeping boy's bed. The new Traction Man, replete with special outfits, soon meets trouble in a flowerbed and among dirty dishes: "Traction Man is diving in the foamy waters of the Sink (wearing his Sub-Aqua Suit....) Oh, no! This Poisonous Dishcloth will envelop Traction Man and suffocate him!" Pursued by the glaring, squidlike Dishcloth, Traction Man is pulled to safety by a "brave little Scrubbing Brush," portrayed as a doglike sidekick with bristles for feet. Brown-paper thought balloons with italic type indicate the real-time story line; "I think it's someone's bathtime..." signals the hero's encounter with the Mysterious Toes, which he tickles into submission. Artful watercolor panels alternate with full-page compositions, and the keyed-up narrative is printed on torn graph-paper scraps for a casual, homemade effect. Grey sets the events on a damp English Christmas, but the holiday takes the back seat to the boy's implied stage-managing of Traction Man and transformation of ordinary objects. Will Traction Man rescue the quivering Cupcake from the villainous Doctor Sock? Stay tuned. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780375931918 PreS-Gr. 2. Opening a present on Christmas morning, a boy finds the latest Traction Man action figure, who takes on an adventurous life of his own: diving into the soapy, underwater world of the kitchen sink; escaping the Poisonous Dishcloth ; and adopting a brave little scrubbing brush as his pet. Later, Granny gives Traction Man a present: a hand-knitted green suit, complete with tie-on knit cap. Despite his obvious humiliation, Traction Man undertakes another rescue mission and triumphs once again. Though children's toys have come to life in many picture books, they are more typically soft toys and the stories usually veer toward sentimentality rather than adventure. Brightened with colorful washes and replete with patterns, the detailed illustrations show Traction Man in action, sometimes stiffly doll-like, sometimes more expressive and human, but always worth watching. Setting up the child as the creator of Traction Man's secondary world and dramatizing his narrative play, Grey portrays with precision and wit the sort of inventive thinking that toys can inspire in children. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2005 Booklist
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2004
The Man Who Walked between the Towers
Book Jacket   Mordicai Gerstein
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780761317913 This effectively spare, lyrical account chronicles Philippe Petit's tightrope walk between Manhattan's World Trade Center towers in 1974. Gerstein (What Charlie Heard) begins the book like a fairy tale, "Once there were two towers side by side. They were each a quarter of a mile high... The tallest buildings in New York City." The author casts the French aerialist and street performer as the hero: "A young man saw them rise into the sky.... He loved to walk and dance on a rope he tied between two trees." As the man makes his way across the rope from one tree to the other, the towers loom in the background. When Philippe gazes at the twin buildings, he looks "not at the towers but at the space between them.... What a wonderful place to stretch a rope; a wire on which to walk." Disguised as construction workers, he and a friend haul a 440-pound reel of cable and other materials onto the roof of the south tower. How Philippe and his pals hang the cable over the 140-feet distance is in itself a fascinating-and harrowing-story, charted in a series of vertical and horizontal ink and oil panels. An inventive foldout tracking Philippe's progress across the wire offers dizzying views of the city below; a turn of the page transforms readers' vantage point into a vertical view of the feat from street level. When police race to the top of one tower's roof, threatening arrest, Philippe moves back and forth between the towers ("As long as he stayed on the wire he was free"). Gerstein's dramatic paintings include some perspectives bound to take any reader's breath away. Truly affecting is the book's final painting of the imagined imprint of the towers, now existing "in memory"-linked by Philippe and his high wire. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780761328681 Is this another September 11 book? No--and yes. In 1974, Philippe Petit, the French street performer and high-wire walker, couldn't resist the temptation to dance between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Gerstein pulls the reader into the story with a conversational style extended by playful pen and paint illustrations. Like Petit, Gerstein conceals much careful planning behind an obvious enjoyment of his subject. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A spare recounting of Philippe Petit's daring 1974 wire walk between the Twin Towers depicts him as a street performer who defies authority to risk his feat, is arrested, and then sentenced to perform for the children of New York. At the conclusion, on the only non-illustrated page are the stark words, "Now the towers are gone," followed by the changed skyline and finally by a skyline on which are etched the ghost-like shapes of the towers as memory of the buildings and of Petit's exploit. At the heart are the spreads of Petit on the narrow wire, so far above the city that Earth's curve is visible. Two ingenious gatefolds draw readers' eyes into the vertiginous sweep of wirewalker—sky and city below. Unparalleled use of perspective and line—architectural verticals opposed to the curve of wires and earth—underscore disequilibrium and freedom. In a story that's all about balance, the illustrations display it exquisitely in composition. Readers of all ages will return to this again and again for its history, adventure, humor, and breathtaking homage to extraordinary buildings and a remarkable man. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5+) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780761328681 K-Gr 6-As this story opens, French funambulist Philippe Petit is dancing across a tightrope tied between two trees to the delight of the passersby in Lower Manhattan. Gerstein places him in the middle of a balancing act, framed by the two unfinished World Trade Center towers when the idea hits: "He looked not at the towers, but at the space between them and thought, what a wonderful place to stretch a rope-." On August 7, 1974, Petit and three friends, posing as construction workers, began their evening ascent from the elevators to the remaining stairs with a 440-pound cable and equipment, prepared to carry out their clever but dangerous scheme to secure the wire. The pacing of the narrative is as masterful as the placement and quality of the oil-and-ink paintings. The interplay of a single sentence or view with a sequence of thoughts or panels builds to a riveting climax. A small, framed close-up of Petit's foot on the wire yields to two three-page foldouts of the walk. One captures his progress from above, the other from the perspective of a pedestrian. The vertiginous views paint the New York skyline in twinkling starlight and at breathtaking sunrise. Gerstein captures his subject's incredible determination, profound skill, and sheer joy. The final scene depicts transparent, cloud-filled skyscrapers, a man in their midst. With its graceful majesty and mythic overtones, this unique and uplifting book is at once a portrait of a larger-than-life individual and a memorial to the towers and the lives associated with them.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A spare recounting of Philippe Petit's daring 1974 wire walk between the Twin Towers depicts him as a street performer who defies authority to risk his feat, is arrested, and then sentenced to perform for the children of New York. At the conclusion, on the only non-illustrated page are the stark words, "Now the towers are gone," followed by the changed skyline and finally by a skyline on which are etched the ghost-like shapes of the towers as memory of the buildings and of Petit's exploit. At the heart are the spreads of Petit on the narrow wire, so far above the city that Earth's curve is visible. Two ingenious gatefolds draw readers' eyes into the vertiginous sweep of wirewalker—sky and city below. Unparalleled use of perspective and line—architectural verticals opposed to the curve of wires and earth—underscore disequilibrium and freedom. In a story that's all about balance, the illustrations display it exquisitely in composition. Readers of all ages will return to this again and again for its history, adventure, humor, and breathtaking homage to extraordinary buildings and a remarkable man. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5+) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780312368784 Gerstein illustrates the captivating story of Philippe Petit's high-wire walk between the Twin Towers in 1974. Winner of the 2004 Caldecott Medal. (SLJ 11/03) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780761328681 PreS-Gr. 3. Here's a joyful true story of the World Trade Center from a time of innocence before 9/11. In 1974 French trapeze artist Philippe Petit walked a tightrope suspended between the towers before they were completed. Gerstein's simple words and dramatic ink-and-oil paintings capture the exhilarating feats, the mischief, and the daring of the astonishing young acrobat. He knew his plan was illegal, so he dressed as a construction worker, and, with the help of friends, lugged a reel of cable up the steps during the night and linked the buildings in the sky. As dawn broke, he stepped out on the wire and performed tricks above the city. Gerstein uses varied perspectives to tell the story--from the close-up jacket picture of one foot on the rope to the fold-out of Petit high above the traffic, swaying in the wind. Then there's a quiet view of the city skyline now, empty of the towers, and an astonishing image of the tiny figure high on the wire between the ghostly buildings we remember. --Hazel Rochman Copyright 2003 Booklist
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780761328681 K-Gr 6-In 1974, a young Frenchman saw the completion of the World Trade Center towers as an irresistible invitation to stretch a cable between them and dance across it. Gorgeous oil-and-ink paintings capture the aerialist's spirited feat and breathtaking perspectives high above Manhattan harbor. Winner of the 2004 Caldecott Medal. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780439767170 K-Gr 4-Mordicai Gerstein's 2004 Caldecott Medal winning book (Roaring Brook, 2003) expressively conveys the joy and skill of French trapeze artist Philippe Petit and his amazing 1974 tightrope walk between the two World Trade Center towers during their construction. The animated adaptation of the book, superbly narrated by actor Jake Gyllenhaal, captures the awe and whimsy of Petit's tale. Sound effects add to the atmosphere and wonder of the story. The text is constructed with a paucity of words that read like poetry. Gerstein's oil and ink paintings are breathtaking. This exciting, touching, and haunting tale is a testament to Petit's determination and a fine memorial to the towers.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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2003
Big Momma Makes the World
 Phyllis Root
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780763611323 In this sassy creation myth that tweaks the first chapter of Genesis, Big Momma "roll[s] up her sleeves" and gets down to business ("Wasn't easy, either, with that little baby sitting on her hip"). " `Light,' said Big Momma. And you better believe there was light.' " Here Oxenbury shows mother and child jubilantly emerging from a watery world ("There was water, water everywhere") to greet the light at the surface. At the close of each day, a pleased Big Momma views her handiwork and pronounces a refrain that echoes the King James Bible "That's good. That's real good." On the sixth day, in a sly nod to another take on the world's beginnings, Big Momma "finish[es] things off in one big bang"-fashioning a host of creatures. As a final touch, the matriarch uses "leftover mud" to shape "some folks to keep me company" and charges them with caring for her creation. Root infuses her tale with a joyful spirit, and her lyrical vernacular trips off the tongue. Zaftig Big Momma and her chubby cherub are equally winning, and Oxenbury playfully tracks the creation process with compositions that move through subtle shades of blue and black and then transform with the addition of the golden shades of sunshine, the verdant greens of earth and an explosion of hues as birds, fish and more multiply across the pages. A gentle spin on the Genesis story sure to get youngsters talking. Ages 4-8. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780763626006 Root infuses this "gentle spin on the Genesis story, sure to get youngsters talking," with "a joyful spirit," while Oxenbury "playfully tracks the creation process," wrote PW. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780763611323 PreS-Gr 2-Here's a creation myth that casts the creator as a full-figured, down-home Big Momma, with a baby on her hip and a pile of laundry and dishes to do. Oxenbury's luminous, oversized acrylics perfectly capture the strong, no-nonsense personality of this barefoot creator capable of making and moving mountains. Big Momma doesn't mess around, as she commands each part of the world to appear: "`Earth,' said Big Momma, `get over here.'" Then, at the end of each day, she looks around and says, "That's good. That's real good." By the sixth day, she still doesn't have anyone to talk to or keep her company, so she makes folks in all colors, shapes, and sizes to sit on her front porch and swap stories. Before resting on the seventh day, Big Momma tells her people to take good care of the world she made for them. She keeps an eye on them from her perch in the sky, occasionally interrupting her chores to warn, "Better straighten up down there," but is ultimately pleased with her handiwork. This book's interpretation may offend many who take the biblical creation story literally, but for those who are open to variations on a theme, Big Momma's tale is an utter delight.-Laurie von Mehren, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780763611323 Big Momma is large, round, and as unperturbed as the cloud on which she sits; as powerful as her quintessential mother love for ""that little baby sitting on her hip""; as creative as her male counterpart. The superb illustrations surprise the eye with their joyous variety. Among the many creation retellings and variations, this one takes the cake for most lovable, and for most benign deity, too--without sacrificing an iota of authority or reverence. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780763611323 PreS^-Gr. 2. A raucous, joyous version of the creation story starring a big, bossy woman who knows what she wants and how to get it: "When Big Momma made the world, she didn't mess around." Down in the infinite water, her naked little baby on her hip, she sees what needs to be done: "Light," says Big Momma. "And you'd better believe there was light." She also creates dark on the first day, and for the next five days she's one busy lady. Sky, sun, moon, earth, flora, and fauna--there's so much to do, and after she does it, Big Momma always says approvingly, "That's good. That's real good." On the seventh day she rests, leaving the world to its own devices, though sometimes she looks down and tells her final creation--humans--that they'd "better straighten up." Sometimes, when she and baby look down, they like what they see. Root's text is strong and sassy, with a down-home cadence that has immediate appeal, and Oxenbury's Big Momma is the perfect embodiment of the story's earth mother--no particular race or color, just full of affection and determination. Some of the pictures are wonderful (a double-page spread of animals bursting out of the sun); some, such as the one of modern-day humans looking up at the sky, are more mundane. Yet overall, this is an exciting, new version of one of the world's oldest stories. And the baby is pretty cute, too. --Ilene Cooper
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780763611323 PreS-Gr 2-In this down-to-earth look at the creation, Big Momma calmly faces each new challenge and takes care of business and her baby besides. The spare, folksy language and glorious larger-than-life art reflect the enormity of the task and a reverence for the creator's handiwork. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. In this feminization of the Creation myth, the creator of the world is a woman with a baby on her hip. The baby doesn't slow her down a bit; just like in the biblical version, the creation takes place over six days, with a rest on the seventh. Folksy rhyming verse appears in large type on the verso of each page, with the accompanying recto completely filled by full-bleed, dramatic illustrations. Big Momma's ambitious activities are described in countrified vernacular: "There was water, water everywhere, and Big Momma saw what needed to be done all right. So she rolled up her sleeves and went to it." Her commands take a similar tone; she admonishes the newly created dark and light: "You two got work to do. Don't you be fooling around none." In an echo of the traditional text, she comments at the end of each day, "That's good. That's real good." The acrylic paintings aptly convey the tone of each day's production; they start out monochromatic until Big Momma has created the sun. The subsequent spreads are riots of color: the contented baby sits in a lush green field, munching on fresh fruits on the fourth day; brightly colored fish and birds appear on the fifth, animals blast out of a bright yellow "big bang" and people of all colors appear on the sixth. Big Momma's sense of contentment as she settles in with the new folks to tell stories and rest on the seventh day is contagious; this beautifully illustrated, oversized paean to the Earth and to motherhood is a welcome addition to the creation-story pantheon. (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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  Book Jacket
2002
"Lets Get a Pup!" said Kate
 Bob Graham
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780763614522 K-Gr 2-When Kate and her parents visit an animal shelter, they first bring home a precious puppy, then return to adopt an older dog that had also captured their hearts. Graham's cartoon-style, plump figures include a Mom with a tattoo and nose ring, and a disheveled Dad. The cozy domestic scenes include typical particulars like a forgotten piece of toast, toys on the floor, and cleaning gear in the bathroom. With the comprehensive characterization chronicled in these pen-and-ink and watercolor panoramas, readers easily embrace this family whose affections extend to include pets on the bed. This endearing book successfully compels those previously pledged to pedigree puppies to try an alternative route.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780763614522 Ages 3-5. "Let's get a pup," are words that strike fear in the hearts of some parents, but not the happy-go-lucky young parents in this book. When their little daughter wakes them up with her request, Mom asks, "What, a brand-new one?" and Dad jokes, "With the wrapping still on?" But even before finishing breakfast, they are off to the rescue center, where there are many, many dogs to choose from: "sniffers and sleepers; scratchers and sleepers." After looking at smelly dogs, fat dogs, happy dogs, and sad dogs, they find Dave, a perky puppy with spots. He's the one, but on the way out they meet Rosy--old, gray, and broad as a table. Of course, they can't take every dog home, so they leave Rosy behind. That night, Dave is the perfect puppy addition to the household, but something is missing. Time to bring home Rosy. This is first-rate child's fare, with enough joy to bring smiles to kids' faces and a few touching moments to tug at their heartstrings. Graham's bright art is sometimes surprising but always on target. Here, Mom wears a nose ring, and Dad wears an earring, yet they are ideal parents for this tender family story. This is a book sure to make both listeners and readers feel warm and happy when they put it down. Pair it with Marc Simont's The Stray Dog [BKL Ja 1 & 15 01] for a story hour with a delightful doggy theme. --Ilene Cooper
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780763614522 Preschooler Kate and her parents are just getting over the loss of the their cat when Kate realizes that what they really need is not another cat, but a dog. Off to the animal shelter they go, where they adopt a puppy named Dave and reluctantly leave behind a large, older dog named Rosy. Dave settles in with the family, but they can't forget Rosy, and the next day, they return to the shelter to bring her home as well. Graham (Max, 2000, etc.) paints quirky people and perky pups in watercolor with pen and ink in an oversized format, and his story is filled with evocative language and the emotions that four-footed friends can elicit. The mother and father in this story are not Ward and June Cleaver: Dad has stubbly cheeks and two earrings, and Mom has a flower tattoo and a nose ring that unfortunately looks a bit like a mini-moustache. Sharp-eyed kids (or concerned parents) may notice that Dad wears a T-shirt sporting a design of a lit cigarette on one page, although Mom wears a T-shirt with a compensatory anti-smoking symbol on a later page. Graham also uses thick, sausage-shaped motion lines to indicate the puppy jumping or Rosy wagging her tail, and several of those motion lines behind a dog's rear will be gleefully (if incorrectly) pointed out by preschoolers as something other than motion lines. (Picture book. 3-6)
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780763614522 Dog lover Graham (Max) adds another tail-wagging treat of a picture book to an oeuvre that includes the canine-inspired titles Benny and Queenie, One of the Family. Following the death of her cat, young Kate has grown lonesome for a new pet. Mom and Dad quickly catch Kate's enthusiasm when she suggests, "Let's get a pup!" and the family heads to the local animal Rescue Center. After looking over "fighters and biters, growlers and snarlers, short dogs, dogs long and thin, and dogs with their cheeks sucked in" they see a smallish, frisky puppy that's just right. As they exit the Rescue Center with their new pup, Dave, the family sees a large, sweet-natured older dog that tugs at their hearts. A sleepless night passes for everyone and the next day Kate's family rushes back to the shelter and expands their brood by one more the older dog they now call Rosy. Graham once again depicts common family situations with abundant humor and tenderness. His jaunty pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork captures universal themes with a contemporary spark thanks to his renderings of unconventional-looking parents (Mom and Dad both have piercings; Mom sports a tattoo). Throughout, copious white space and spot vignettes give the proceedings a breezy pace. Ages 3-6. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Horn Book (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780763614522 When Kate and her parents bring bouncy puppy Dave home from the animal shelter, they're still thinking about slow, old Rosy, the dog they didn't choose. But they realize they've fallen in love with her, so they rush back to the shelter where ""Rosy [is] waiting for them."" Cozy watercolors contribute to this story's feelings of warmth, family, and belonging. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780763614522 K-Gr 2-When Kate and her parents visit an animal shelter, they first bring home a precious puppy, then return to adopt an older dog that had also captured their hearts. Graham's cartoon-style, plump figures include a Mom with a tattoo and nose ring, and a disheveled Dad. The cozy domestic scenes include typical particulars like a forgotten piece of toast, toys on the floor, and cleaning gear in the bathroom. With the comprehensive characterization chronicled in these pen-and-ink and watercolor panoramas, readers easily embrace this family whose affections extend to include pets on the bed. This endearing book successfully compels those previously pledged to pedigree puppies to try an alternative route.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780763614522 Ages 3-5. "Let's get a pup," are words that strike fear in the hearts of some parents, but not the happy-go-lucky young parents in this book. When their little daughter wakes them up with her request, Mom asks, "What, a brand-new one?" and Dad jokes, "With the wrapping still on?" But even before finishing breakfast, they are off to the rescue center, where there are many, many dogs to choose from: "sniffers and sleepers; scratchers and sleepers." After looking at smelly dogs, fat dogs, happy dogs, and sad dogs, they find Dave, a perky puppy with spots. He's the one, but on the way out they meet Rosy--old, gray, and broad as a table. Of course, they can't take every dog home, so they leave Rosy behind. That night, Dave is the perfect puppy addition to the household, but something is missing. Time to bring home Rosy. This is first-rate child's fare, with enough joy to bring smiles to kids' faces and a few touching moments to tug at their heartstrings. Graham's bright art is sometimes surprising but always on target. Here, Mom wears a nose ring, and Dad wears an earring, yet they are ideal parents for this tender family story. This is a book sure to make both listeners and readers feel warm and happy when they put it down. Pair it with Marc Simont's The Stray Dog [BKL Ja 1 & 15 01] for a story hour with a delightful doggy theme. --Ilene Cooper
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780763614522 Preschooler Kate and her parents are just getting over the loss of the their cat when Kate realizes that what they really need is not another cat, but a dog. Off to the animal shelter they go, where they adopt a puppy named Dave and reluctantly leave behind a large, older dog named Rosy. Dave settles in with the family, but they can't forget Rosy, and the next day, they return to the shelter to bring her home as well. Graham (Max, 2000, etc.) paints quirky people and perky pups in watercolor with pen and ink in an oversized format, and his story is filled with evocative language and the emotions that four-footed friends can elicit. The mother and father in this story are not Ward and June Cleaver: Dad has stubbly cheeks and two earrings, and Mom has a flower tattoo and a nose ring that unfortunately looks a bit like a mini-moustache. Sharp-eyed kids (or concerned parents) may notice that Dad wears a T-shirt sporting a design of a lit cigarette on one page, although Mom wears a T-shirt with a compensatory anti-smoking symbol on a later page. Graham also uses thick, sausage-shaped motion lines to indicate the puppy jumping or Rosy wagging her tail, and several of those motion lines behind a dog's rear will be gleefully (if incorrectly) pointed out by preschoolers as something other than motion lines. (Picture book. 3-6)
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780763614522 Dog lover Graham (Max) adds another tail-wagging treat of a picture book to an oeuvre that includes the canine-inspired titles Benny and Queenie, One of the Family. Following the death of her cat, young Kate has grown lonesome for a new pet. Mom and Dad quickly catch Kate's enthusiasm when she suggests, "Let's get a pup!" and the family heads to the local animal Rescue Center. After looking over "fighters and biters, growlers and snarlers, short dogs, dogs long and thin, and dogs with their cheeks sucked in" they see a smallish, frisky puppy that's just right. As they exit the Rescue Center with their new pup, Dave, the family sees a large, sweet-natured older dog that tugs at their hearts. A sleepless night passes for everyone and the next day Kate's family rushes back to the shelter and expands their brood by one more the older dog they now call Rosy. Graham once again depicts common family situations with abundant humor and tenderness. His jaunty pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork captures universal themes with a contemporary spark thanks to his renderings of unconventional-looking parents (Mom and Dad both have piercings; Mom sports a tattoo). Throughout, copious white space and spot vignettes give the proceedings a breezy pace. Ages 3-6. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780763614522 When Kate and her parents bring bouncy puppy Dave home from the animal shelter, they're still thinking about slow, old Rosy, the dog they didn't choose. But they realize they've fallen in love with her, so they rush back to the shelter where ""Rosy [is] waiting for them."" Cozy watercolors contribute to this story's feelings of warmth, family, and belonging. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
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  Book Jacket
 
2001
Cold Feet
Book Jacket   Cynthia DeFelice
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780789426369 Gr 3-6-This ghost story for the strong of stomach features a bagpiper by the name of Willie McPhee. Hard times have forced him to seek a place where people can afford his entertainment. Months pass. His boots are "more holes than leather." Alone, hungry, and tired, he trips on what he soon realizes is the frozen body of a man whose boots are too fine to leave behind. He can't remove them until he drops the man's leg, which then snaps in two. Carrying the boots (and feet within them) tied around his neck, Willie seeks shelter on a farm, only to be told by the inhospitable owner to sleep in the barn with the cow. In the morning, Willie plays a trick on his mean-spirited host and places one foot in the cow's mouth, the other beside her. The shocked farmer quickly buries the feet, and when Willie reappears to play his pipes on the grave, the man and his wife take off, never to be seen again. Later that night, as Willie enjoys the cozy warmth of the farmhouse, a footless stranger appears at the door. So ends the tale. DeFelice's language, tone, and pacing capture the essence of the oral tradition while Parker's dark and stylized watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations reflect the playfully somber mood of the story. This is a yarn meant to amuse as well as frighten, and it succeeds at both.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780789426369 A wandering bagpiper tugs a handsome pair of boots off a corpse only to find the feet still in them. Willie uses the feet to play a trick on an uncharitable farmer and sees the worm turn when a foot-loose--er, -less--man comes to reclaim his standing. The twists from ghoulish to slapstick to spooky step lightly, and Parker's paintings have a rustic elegance that helps the story keep its shape. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780789426369 DeFelice and Parker (previously paired for The Dancing Skeleton) join forces again, this time to polish up a Scottish ghost story. When ragged, penniless Willie McPhee, "the finest bagpipe player in all of Scotland," stumbles across a dead man in the forest one snowy night, he helps himself to the boots. Unfortunately the man's feet come with them, snapping off when Willie tugs on the frozen legs. But "a poor man must be practical, after all," and Willie carries off the boots (and feet). Later he decides to play a trick on a heartless farmer who grudgingly sends him to the barn when he asks for shelter: Willie arranges the now-thawed feet to make it appear that their cow has eaten him. The horrified farmer and his wife quickly bury the evidence, but when Willie comes out of hiding and pipes a farewell tune atop the "wee small grave," they flee, thinking him a ghost. In the end, a bona fide ghost does appearDto Willie. DeFelice pitches this deliciously eerie tale in the kind of cadence and language that make for a grand read-aloud (e.g., the near-shoeless Willie goes "flip-flap, flip-flap, flip-flap down the road"), and she neatly preserves the regional flavor ("Och! They were fine-looking boots, they were!"). Beautifully set off by the understated book design, Parker's watercolors rank with his finest. The blotted impressionistic colors and scrawled lines are both edgy and amusing, while the cool gray tones create an appropriately chilly backdrop for the spooky antics. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Another hilariously macabre folktale from the creators of Dancing Skeleton (1989). Stumbling over a thoroughly frozen corpse in the woods, down-at-heels bagpiper Willie McPhee tries to pull off its boots, only to have both feet break off inside. When a surly farmer grudgingly allows him to sleep in the barn sometime later, Willie tucks the boots under a cow to thaw, leaves the feet and his old ragged shoes near the cow's mouth for the farmer to find, and hides. Parker's poker-faced, loosely drawn and brushed watercolors capture Willie's misery as he trudges through wintry landscapes, huddles down in the sparsely furnished barn to find what comfort he can, then gravely sets up his gruesome trick. Wait, there's more. Thinking that the cow has eaten the piper, the farmer buries the feet, and then flees in panic when he sees Willie standing on the spot piping a tune. Willie happily moves into the farmhouse, only to open the door that night to a grim looking stranger lacking boots . . . and feet. There the tale ends, but be warned: shivering delightedly, entranced readers or listeners will positively demand to know what happens next, so have some version of "Tailypo" ready as a follow-up. (Picture book/folktale. 7-9) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780789426369 Gr. 2^-4. In this picture book for older children, DeFelice retells an old Scottish legend based on the "trickster tricked" theme. Willie McPhee, the finest bagpipe player in Scotland, is forced to travel far from home to find paying customers. He spends so many months on the road that "his boots [are] more holes than leather." He manages to get by in summer, spring, and fall, but he suffers when winter comes. One day, when he's nearly frozen, he stumbles over a dead body in the forest--a body with a nice pair of boots. Temptation leads to grotesque action. The eerie ending is a fine twist, and Parker's watercolors, depicting a misty Scottish landscape, are well suited to the ghostly story. The book may appear to be for young children, but the grisly theme is better suited to older ones. --Connie Fletcher
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2000
Henry Hikes to Fitchburg
Book Jacket   D.B. Johnson
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780395968673 In this book, inspired by a passage in Walden, Henry and his friend are two bears who want to go to Fitchburg. Henry sets out on foot, and along the way he makes a walking stick, collects wildflowers, and finds a birds' nest. His friend labors until he has earned the money for a train ticket. The message is pure Thoreau: Henry has had by far the more valuable and rewarding journey. Nattily dressed bears inhabit nineteenth-century scenes in the stylized illustrations. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780395968673 K-Gr 4-A nicely realized retelling of a short passage from Henry Thoreau's Walden. Henry and his friend decide to go to Fitchburg, a town 30 miles away. "I'll walk," says Henry, but his friend decides to work for the money for a train ticket and see who gets there first. Each subsequent spread marks their progress: "Henry's friend cleaned out Mrs. Thoreau's chicken house. 10 cents./Henry crossed a swamp and found a bird's nest in the grass. 12 miles to Fitchburg." The friend arrives first, barely. "`The train was faster,' he said." "I know," Henry smiled, "I stopped for blackberries." Johnson makes this philosophical musing accessible to children, who will recognize a structural parallel to "The Tortoise and the Hare." The author quotes Thoreau's original anecdote in his endnote. The two friends are depicted as 19th-century bears in the geometric, warm-toned, pencil-and-paint illustrations. Each picture is solidly composed, and although the perspectives may seem somewhat stiff and distracting up close, they work remarkably better from a short distance. The layout and steady pace, as well, make this suitable for storytime. The somewhat open-ended resolution could allow for classroom debate, and is also simply a good ending to a good story.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780788207662 K-Gr 4-This video adaptation of D.B. Johnson's picture book (HM, 2000) is a lighthearted introduction to the Transcendental ideas of Henry David Thoreau. Johnson's book is based upon a passage from Thoreau's Walden in which a friend asks Thoreau why he does not take the train. Thoreau's response, that in taking the train one would spend the greater part of the day working for the ticket money rather than enjoying the trip, is illustrated here by Henry the bear and his friend. Henry spends a leisurely day hiking to Fitchburg, enjoying the scenery and pressing flowers into his book, while his friend spends the day working odd jobs to earn the ticket money. Though his friend does get to Fitchburg first, the message is clear ("I stopped for blackberries," says Henry). The video, narrated by James Naughton, pans the illustrations from the book and uses carefully chosen spot animation to liven up the story. Background music by Jon Carroll differentiates Henry's leisurely journey from the hectic pace of his friend's life. A short biographical segment on Henry David Thoreau concludes the video, offering context and explaining the story's origins. Though targeted to younger children, this would also be a lively addition to classes on Transcendentalism for older students.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780395968673 Ages 4^-8. Henry the bear and his friend decide to visit Fitchburg, a country town some 30 miles away. Henry asserts that walking is the fastest way to get there, but his friend thinks the train is best. They agree to meet in Fitchburg to see which of them is right. As Henry begins his hike, his friend goes off to earn money for the train fare. It won't take long for adults to realize that Henry is no average bear. He's an ursine Henry David Thoreau (and looks the part), engaging in a simple competition to gently expose children to Thoreau's view of life. While his friend fills the woodbox in Mrs. Alcott's kitchen, Henry rock-hops across the Sudbury River. While his friend pulls weeds in Mr. Hawthorne's garden, Henry presses ferns and flowers in a book. And while his friend cleans out Mrs. Thoreau's chicken house, Henry crosses a swamp and finds a bird's nest. While his friend, having finally earned the fare, rides a train bound for Fitchburg, Henry, nearly there, eats his fill in a blackberry patch. Although the commuter does reach Fitchburg ahead of the hiker, Henry smilingly responds with bemused understatement: "I stopped for blackberries." This splendid book works on several levels. Johnson's adaption of a paragraph taken from Thoreau's Walden (set down in an author's note) illuminates the contrast between materialistic and naturalistic views of life without ranting or preaching. His illustrations are breathtakingly rich and filled with lovingly rendered details. The angular, art-deco-influenced spreads are beautifully colored, thoughtfully designed, funny, and interesting, demonstrating Johnson's virtuosic control of his craft. Young children will like the story itself; older ones may be inspired to talk about the period in American history and the still relevant issues Thoreau raised. --Tim Arnold
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780395968673 Freelance illustrator Johnson models his striking debut on a passage from Walden, in which Thoreau advocates journeying on foot over buying a ticket to ride. Henry, a brown bear attired in a brick-red duster and wide-brimmed sun hat, is a kinder, gentler fellow than his cantankerous inspiration. His ursine friend, wearing town clothes and conspicuously toting a pocket watch, makes plans to meet him in Fitchburg, a town 30 miles distant. Spreads contrast the pair's respective travel strategies: on the left, Henry's friend does chores for unseen Mrs. Alcott, Mr. Hawthorne and Mr. Emerson to earn train fare; right-handed pages picture a leisurely Henry examining flora and fauna, admiring the view and excavating a honey tree as he strides toward his destination. At the end of the summer day, "His friend sat on the train in a tangle of people./ Henry ate his way through a blackberry patch." Johnson inventively demonstrates Thoreau's advice with kaleidoscopic illustrations in variegated colors and gently skewed perspectives that weigh fast-paced urban existence against an unmaterialistic life in the woods. Both bears make it to Fitchburg, but Henry's friend wears a blank stare, in contrast to Henry's bright-eyed, curious gaze. Johnson implies what money can and cannot buy, and encourages slowing down to experience nature. With graceful understatement, he presents some complicated ideas assuredly and accessibly. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780618737499 In our Best Books citation, PW wrote, "It's hard to imagine making Thoreau's philosophy comprehensible and accessible to young readers, but Johnson pulls it off." Ages 4-8. (Nov.) n (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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1999
Red-Eyed Tree Frog
 Joy Cowley
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780590871754 PreS-Gr 3-In a tropical rain forest in Central America, a red-eyed tree frog spends the night looking for food while avoiding potential predators. Bishop's high-speed photographic techniques transport viewers to this distant world and allow them to see other creatures from the tree frog's perspective. Larger-than-life images document the hunt, brought to a satisfying conclusion as the well-camouflaged frog settles among the leaves to spend the daylight hours in sleep. Cowley's simple text provides a narrative arc for the amazingly sharp, clear photos. Those who want more information can consult the two pages of explanations that follow the story. Accessible to a much younger age group than most books about rain forests, this volume will also attract older readers because of the striking visuals.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780590871754 Age: PS Startlingly close-up photographs of rainforest fauna depict the nocturnal adventures of a red-eyed tree frog. The simple, aptly paced text relates the hungry frog's search for a meal and his close encounters with dangerous predators, and an accessible afterword provides a good overview of facts on the subject. The engaging narrative and captivating pictures are perfectly attuned to the preschool audience--a rare and noteworthy find in nonfiction. Horn Rating: Outstanding, noteworthy in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: la (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780590871754 Bishop's spectacular photographs of the tiny red-eyed tree frog defeat an incidental text from Cowley (Singing Down the Rain, 1997, etc.). The frog, only two inches long, is enormous in this title; it appears along with other nocturnal residents of the rain forests of Central America, including the iguana, ant, katydid, caterpillar, and moth. In a final section, Cowley explains how small the frog is and aspects of its life cycle. The main text, however, is an afterthought to dramatic events in the photos, e.g., ``But the red-eyed tree frog has been asleep all day. It wakes up hungry. What will it eat? Here is an iguana. Frogs do not eat iguanas.'' Accompanying an astonishing photograph of the tree frog leaping away from a boa snake are three lines (``The snake flicks its tongue. It tastes frog in the air. Look out, frog!'') that neither advance nor complement the action. The layout employs pale and deep green pages and typeface, and large jewel-like photographs in which green and red dominate. The combination of such visually sophisticated pages and simplistic captions make this a top-heavy, unsatisfying title. (Picture book. 7-9)
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780590871754 Ages 2^-5. Stunning color photographs and a gripping interactive text bring you right up close to a red-eyed tree frog in a rain forest in Central America. The big pictures are arranged to tell an exciting narrative, and a few simple words draw you in and build the suspense. As evening comes, the frog wakes up hungry. What will it eat? "Here is an iguana. Frogs do not eat iguanas." Do iguanas eat frogs? A photo shows the two creatures eyeing each other, and the frog does not wait to find out. It does not eat the ant or the katydid. Will it eat the caterpillar? No! the caterpillar is poisonous. Then suddenly, the hunter becomes the prey: a hungry boa snake slips and slithers along a branch. It gets very close. The snake's tongue flickers as it tastes frog in the air. Then, in a climactic double-page spread, the frog jumps and escapes. It finds a moth and crunches it. Finally, the frog shuts its red eyes, as morning comes to the rain forest. The photographs in rich shades of green and red show each creature very close up, even the hairs on the caterpillar, as the small frog would see them. The questions will draw in young preschoolers, who will be held by the pictures and by the exciting story they tell. For older readers, the afterword provides more astonishing facts. --Hazel Rochman
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  Book Jacket
1998
And If the Moon Could Talk
 Kate Banks
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780374302993 Fiction: PS Banks and Hallensleben's third collaboration evokes the powerful bedtime magic of [cf2]Goodnight Moon[cf1]: the opening scene finds a young child in a large but cozy room filled with familiar objects. However, the book then soars out of the house to take in the vast world. Banks's rhythmic text subtly conveys the theme of a great and wondrous world while never sacrificing the comfort and security of parental love, and Hallensleben's rich, luxuriant palette moves adeptly in and out of the home. Horn Rating: Outstanding, noteworthy in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: la (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Savor the endpapers, which open with a van Gogh-like night scene of muted, window-lit houses clustered around a shining lake. Step into a cozy interior of a child's room at bedtime, inhabited by stuffed animals, a red bed, and an expanse of carpet, radiating all the warmth of Hurd's scene of the great green room. The events here are quiet ones--the ticking of a clock, the reading of a book, the flicking on of a light. Alternating with the interior landscapes is the moon's-eye-view across the globe of other slumber scenes--boats docked at a seaside port, nomads and camels crouched among desert dunes, a lion licking her cubs in a faraway den. A dreaming child blends the two worlds in a caravan of color. Readers and listeners alike will find that the poetic text and molten illustrations glow, ember-like, long after the child of the book has been tucked in and the moon has murmured its good-night. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780374302993 With quiet phrases and luxurious color, Banks and Hallensleben (Baboon) evoke a perfectly peaceful bedtime. In a stuccoed house, amid tranquil lakes and orderly rows of trees, a girl plays with stuffed animals and listens to a story read by her father. Far away, the moon glows on tall hills, desert, jungle and ocean, where people and wild animals prepare for sleep. Full-bleed spreads expertly relate the text's alternating descriptions of relaxed interior and exterior scenes. In the child's bedroom "on a small table sits a glass, a wooden boat, a starfish, too." Hallensleben connects the spread that follows, "if the moon could talk, it would tell of waves washing onto the beach, shells, and a crab resting," with a painting of boats bobbing on a tranquil sea, whose color gently echoes the water glass on the bedside table of the previous spread. The story closes with the child tucked into bed and the moon whispering, "Good night." Hallensleben complements the hushed narrative with warm cushions of paint: the girl's thick blanket is egg-yolk yellow with orange-red dots and the pillows are as deep blue as the night sky. The outdoor panoramas have the same intimacy, whether they feature a lioness and her cubs, or a red tractor lumbering toward a yellow-lit farmhouse. As night gently envelops the landscapes, the words and art convey the snug warmth of a featherbed and a world as small as a neighborhood. Ages 3-5. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780374302993 Ages 3^-5. The author and the illustrator of Spider Spider (1996) and Baboon (1997) offer a cousin to the classic Goodnight Moon, suffused with a similar sense of comfortable, comforting domestic intimacy. As night falls, a child's bedtime routine echoes the outdoor scenes on alternating spreads: she sits in her father's lap looking at a picture of camels and listening to a story that "unfolds like a banner wandering across the sky," while sand blows across a distant desert; just as a light flicks on in the hall, stars appear over a small town; and a bit later, while birds are settling down in a cozy nest, her mother tucks her in with a hug. Hallensleben uses a large brush and bright, vigorously applied colors to give each scene an expressionistic intensity of feeling. With its features only faint, suggestive swirls, the moon lights woodlands, desert, a tranquil beach, a lion licking her cubs, and, at the end, the sleeping child snuggled down under a comforter--but the visual links go far beyond that, as bedroom objects, animals, and even color combinations consistently recur in different but related forms outside. Using heightened but not self-consciously "poetic" language, Banks opens her patterned text on a strong note ("A window yawns open. Twilight blazes a trail across the wall.") that progressively subsides to a murmurous conclusion. A study in verbal and visual harmony from the title on. --John Peters
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780374435585 PW wrote in a starred review, "As night gently envelops the landscapes, the words and art convey the snug warmth of a featherbed and a world as small as a neighborhood." Ages 3-5. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780374302993 K-Gr 2?In this quiet lyrical story by the collaborators of Baboon (Farrar, 1997), a sense of peace prevails. Evening approaches. Inside, a child goes through her bedtime rituals?a story, a glass of water, a hug from Mama. Outside, the moon shines down on a world slowly preparing for nighttime?stars appear, wind rocks a tree, a lion licks her cubs. The deeply saturated tones of the lovely, impressionistic oil paintings perfectly match the somnolent feeling of the text. Moonlight illuminates the countryside while warm colors exude a cozy ambiance in the house. The repetitious text adds to the subdued mood. Perfect for one-on-one sharing, this book will enhance bedtime story collections.?Anne Knickerbocker, Cedar Brook Elementary School, Houston, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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  Book Jacket
 
1997
The Adventures of Sparrowboy
Book Jacket   Brian Pinkney
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780689810718 Comics, superheroes, and saving the day come together on the route of an ordinary paperboy with newfound powers of flight. Pinkney (Max Found Two Sticks, 1994, etc.) finds trouble on sleepy Thurber Street when a bully named Bruno and his dog, Wolf, stir up the neighborhood. Enter Henry, the local newspaper delivery boy, and something of a junior Clark Kent do-gooder. Without benefit of phone booth or cape, he is zapped by a small sparrow and zooms into the air as Sparrowboy. Inspired by Falconman, a superhero from the pages of the newspapers he delivers, Sparrowboy thwarts Wolf's attack on two local boys, rescues a neighborhood cat from the torments of Bruno, and saves a mysteriously flightless sparrow from the jaws of a cat, returning home where everything feels just a little better. Pinkney's scratchboard illustrations give a nod to comic-strip art by breaking several of the spreads into storyboard panels, complete with headers and action words set into comic-style compositions. Comic book enthusiasts will find plenty of action here and feel just a little better for having curled up with this high-flying armchair adventure. (Picture book. 4-8)
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780689810718 PreS-Gr 1?Fretting over headlines in the newspapers he's delivering, Henry almost runs over a sparrow on the sidewalk. There's a flash of light, and suddenly, like his comic-strip hero Falconman, the boy is swooping through the skies fighting evil?or, at least, collaring a scary dog, rescuing a cat from a bully's clutches, and repeatedly snatching the temporarily flightless sparrow out of danger in the nick of time. Like newspaper comics, Pinkney's full-color scratchboard scenes are done in page-sized panels, with a minimum of text but maximum action, dramatized by swirling lines, wide gestures, and "THONK!" "ZAP!" sound effects. Henry's heroics will win readers over instantly; he may not save the world, but before he returns to Earth, he does make his suburban neighborhood "just a little better." That's a plausible goal for any actual or would-be superhero.?John Peters, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780689810718 Fiction: PB Henry enjoys the heroic exploits of comic hero Falconman, whose superpowers are bestowed on him by a falcon. So when a little bird gifts Henry similarly, he's soon saving the neighborhood from marauding bullies, menacing dogs, and more. The rescues slyly overlap and dovetail, and in fine comic-strip style, Pinkney lets the pictures do the talking, limiting text to brief action markers, dialogue, and sound effects. Horn Rating: Superior, well above average. Reviewed by: rs (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780689810718 Though sobering front-page headlines worry a young paperboy, the comics?especially a strip called Falconman?lift him up. Quite literally, in fact. After Henry peruses a Falconman strip in which a magical falcon converts a police trooper into a superman by lending him the power to fly, the boy's bike collides with a similarly gifted sparrow. Suddenly airborne, the boy delivers his newspapers in flight while saving innocent neighbors from a menacing bully and his growling pooch. For the course of Henry's transformation, the book adopts a comic-strip format, accenting the boxed, action-filled pictures with brief, punchy text and a chorus of sound effects like "CHIRP!", "WHOOSH!" and "THONK!" In a final, satisfying coup, Henry comes to the rescue of the benevolent sparrow, vulnerable because it has temporarily relinquished its powers of flight to Henry, a development that readers will delight in discovering before the boy does. The plot unravels chiefly through Pinkney's (Max Found Two Sticks; see I Smell Honey, reviewed above) airy, motion-filled art, expertly rendered in scratchboard, transparent dyes and gouaches in creamy colors never before seen in a comic book. Clever quips and asides add humor and playful melodrama. Pinkney clearly had a blast creating this soaring story, and his high spirits are transferable to the reader?ZAP! Ages 4-9. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780689810718 Ages 4^-8. One morning while on his route, Henry the paperboy accidentally collides with a sparrow and discovers that he can fly--just like Falconman, his favorite comic strip superhero. The newfound power of flight enables Henry--excuse me, Sparrowboy--to deliver his papers by--er, airmail and also to right a number of minor wrongs in the neighborhood. When things magically return to normal, "everything felt just a little better." Since Henry lives on Thurber Street, some adult readers may be reminded of Walter Mitty, but that connection is hardly necessary to enjoy this lighthearted lark. Pinkney combines his signature scratchboard technique with comic strip format and appropriate typefaces to create the illustrations that accompany this affectionate fantasy, which will leave its readers feeling "a little bit better," too. --Michael Cart
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1996
In the Rain With Baby Duck
Book Jacket   Amy Hest
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Baby Duck makes her series debut in a tender, funny story with bright, affectionately detailed art. Ages 3-6.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781564025326 Ages 3^-6. As Mr. and Mrs. Duck happily prance along in the rain, Baby pouts and wails about wet feet, wet face, and mud, mud, mud. "I've never heard of a duck who doesn't like rain," frets Mrs. Duck. But Grampa has. He takes Baby up to the attic and pulls out a beautiful red umbrella and matching boots that once belonged to another baby duck who wasn't so fond of the rain--Baby's mother. Large watercolor illustrations make the rainy day look bright and cheerful as, arm in arm, Grampa and Baby waddle, shimmy, and hop in all the puddles. Hest's delightful text exudes charm, and beginning readers will find the large type and simple vocabulary a helpful bonus. Perfect for a rainy-day story time. --Lauren Peterson
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781564025326 Fiction: PS A rainy downpour stands between Baby Duck and Pancake Sunday with her Grampa on the other side of town. Reluctantly, she follows Mr. and Mrs. Duck, who just love all the water. When they arrive, a sympathetic Grampa understands immediately and offers a perfect solution -- a red bunny umbrella and matching boots. Preschoolers will enjoy the large, bright pages and funny pencil and watercolor illustrations of the Duck family. Horn Rating: Outstanding, noteworthy in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: hbz (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780763606978 Baby Duck makes her series debut in a tender, funny story with bright, affectionately detailed art. Ages 3-6. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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1995
John Henry
 Julius Lester
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780803716063 K-Gr 5-Another winning collaboration from the master storyteller and gifted artist of Tales of Uncle Remus (Dial, 1987) fame. Based on several well-known versions of an African American folk ballad, Lester's tale is true to the essence of the steel-driving man; yet, it allows room for touches of whimsy and even includes some contemporary references that tie the hero to our own times. Told with just a trace of dialect, the story moves along briskly toward the climax. Its moral message of the importance of a well-lived life is clearly stated, and the ending is uplifting. Pinkney's marvelous watercolors, abundantly rich in detail, convey both the superior strength and the warm sense of humanity that make John Henry perhaps a more down-to-earth character than some other tall-tale figures. The paintings' muted earth tones add a realistic touch to the text, bringing this John Henry alive. When viewed from a distance, however, figures and details sometimes blend together, making the book better suited to independent reading that group sharing. It will appeal to an older audience than Ezra Jack Keats's John Henry (Knopf, 1987) and is a fine addition to any folklore collection.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, Wheeler School, Providence, RI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780803716063 A great American hero comes fully to life in this epic retelling filled with glorious, detailed watercolors. From his momentous birth, when all the animals come to see him and the sun won't go to bed, John Henry works wonders. As a child he helps his father by adding ``a wing onto the house with an indoor swimming pool and one of them jacutzis''-and that's just before lunch. Other episodes trace the growth of his generous spirit. His greatest feat is, of course, in his battle against the steam drill, as he races the machine to cut through ``a mountain as big as hurt feelings.'' He dies (``he had hammered so hard and so fast and so long that his big heart had burst''), but the onlookers understand that ``dying ain't important.... What matters is how well you do your living.'' This carefully crafted updating begs to be read aloud for its rich, rhythmic storytelling flow, and the suitably oversize illustrations amplify the text. As only one example, the animal witnesses of his birth reappear throughout, most notably to watch John Henry's funeral train pass by. This may not supplant more traditional retellings, such as Terry Small's The Legend of John Henry, but it is a triumph of collaboration from the creators of the noted Uncle Remus retellings. All ages. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780803716063 Fiction: NF Age: K-3 The original legend of John Henry and how he beat the steam drill with his sledgehammer has been enhanced and enriched, in Lester's retelling, with wonderful contemporary details and poetic similes that add humor, beauty, and strength. Pinkney's evocative illustrations -- especially the landscapes, splotchy and impressionistic, yet very solid and vigorous -- are little short of magnificent. With source notes. Horn Rating: Outstanding, noteworthy in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: aaf (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780803716063 Ages 4 and up. Based on the popular black folk ballad about the contest between John Henry and the steam drill, this picture-book version is a tall tale and a heroic myth, a celebration of the human spirit. Like Lester's great collections of the Uncle Remus tales, also illustrated by Pinkney, the story is told with rhythm and wit, humor and exaggeration, and with a heart-catching immediacy that connects the human and the natural world. ("This was no ordinary boulder. It was as hard as anger . . . a mountain as big as hurt feelings"). The dramatic climax of the story is set at the time of the building of the railroad through the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia, but Lester begins with the hero's birth, when all the birds and animals come to see the baby and the sun is so excited it forgets to go to bed. Pinkney's dappled pencil-and-watercolor illustrations capture the individuality of the great working man, who is part of the human community and who has the strength of rock and wind. John Henry swings his hammer so fast, he makes a rainbow around his shoulders, and the pictures show that light everywhere, "shining and shimmering in the dust and grit like hope that never dies." ~--Hazel Rochman
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. /*STARRED REVIEW*/ Ages 4 and up. Based on the popular black folk ballad about the contest between John Henry and the steam drill, this picture-book version is a tall tale and a heroic myth, a celebration of the human spirit. Like Lester's great collections of the Uncle Remus tales, also illustrated by Pinkney, the story is told with rhythm and wit, humor and exaggeration, and with a heart-catching immediacy that connects the human and the natural world. ("This was no ordinary boulder. It was as hard as anger . . . a mountain as big as hurt feelings"). The dramatic climax of the story is set at the time of the building of the railroad through the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia, but Lester begins with the hero's birth, when all the birds and animals come to see the baby and the sun is so excited it forgets to go to bed. Pinkney's dappled pencil-and-watercolor illustrations capture the individuality of the great working man, who is part of the human community and who has the strength of rock and wind. John Henry swings his hammer so fast, he makes a rainbow around his shoulders, and the pictures show that light everywhere, "shining and shimmering in the dust and grit like hope that never dies." (Reviewed June 1994)0803716060Hazel Rochman
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780803716063 Onto the page bounds the colossus John Henry, man of legend, man of myth (though the preface keeps things off balance on that point). John was the archetype for the ``Just Do It'' generation; he was all bustle and business, surrounded by an aura of triumph. Lester hits upon all of John's special moments: his stupendous growth spurt; his humbling of Ferret-Faced Freddy; his smashing the great stone so fast that he creates a natty rainbow around his shoulders; and, of course, the climactic duel with the steam drill deep in the hills of West Virginia. John smoked the drill, but his big heart burst in the process. Lester (The Last Tales of Uncle Remus, p. 70, etc.; The Man Who Knew Too Much, see below) wisely makes it clear that you don't have to be John Henry to get things done: You just need the will; there's a bit of John to be tapped in us all. Pinkney's watercolors walk a smart and lovely line between ephemerality and sheer natural energy. The rainbow whispers the lesson here: ``Dying ain't important. Everybody does that. What matters is how well you do your living.'' Amen. (Folklore/Picture book. All ages)
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  Book Jacket
1994
Grandfathers Journey
 Allen Say
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780395570357 Ages 5 and up. Say won the Caldecott Medal for this autobiographical story of his grandfather's journey from Japan to the U.S. It is a version of the American dream that includes discovery and adventure but no sense of arrival. He gets our homesickness, our restlessness, wherever we are.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780395570357 Say transcends the achievements of his Tree of Cranes and A River Dream with this breathtaking picture book, at once a very personal tribute to his grandfather and a distillation of universally shared emotions. Elegantly honed text accompanies large, formally composed paintings to convey Say's family history; the sepia tones and delicately faded colors of the art suggest a much-cherished and carefully preserved family album. A portrait of Say's grandfather opens the book, showing him in traditional Japanese dress, ``a young man when he left his home in Japan and went to see the world.'' Crossing the Pacific on a steamship, he arrives in North America and explores the land by train, by riverboat and on foot. One especially arresting, light-washed painting presents Grandfather in shirtsleeves, vest and tie, holding his suit jacket under his arm as he gazes over a prairie: ``The endless farm fields reminded him of the ocean he had crossed.'' Grandfather discovers that ``the more he traveled, the more he longed to see new places,'' but he nevertheless returns home to marry his childhood sweetheart. He brings her to California, where their daughter is born, but her youth reminds him inexorably of his own, and when she is nearly grown, he takes the family back to Japan. The restlessness endures: the daughter cannot be at home in a Japanese village; he himself cannot forget California. Although war shatters Grandfather's hopes to revisit his second land, years later Say repeats the journey: ``I came to love the land my grandfather had loved, and I stayed on and on until I had a daughter of my own.'' The internal struggle of his grandfather also continues within Say, who writes that he, too, misses the places of his childhood and periodically returns to them. The tranquility of the art and the powerfully controlled prose underscore the profundity of Say's themes, investing the final line with an abiding, aching pathos: ``The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other.'' Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780395570357 Fiction: I am homesick for the other. I think I know my grandfather now."""" The immigrant experience has rarely been so poignantly evoked as it is in this direct Age: lyrical narrative Say's grandfather travels throughout North America as a young man but, unable to forget his homeland, returns to Japan with his family, where the author is born. Say now lives in California and returns to his native land from time to time. Horn Rating: Outstanding, noteworthy in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: The funny thing is (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780545127080 Gr 1-4-Allen Say's beautifully written Caldecott Award-winning memoir of his grandfather's life (Houghton Mifflin, 1993) is treated with care in this expressive production. His grandfather traveled as a young man, finding beauty wherever he went and eventually settled in California. His love for Japan, however, soon called him to return to the land of his birth. Yet, through war and change, a part of him still loved California. The author chronicles the birth of his mother and of himself. California is now his home but, like his grandfather, he feels the tug of his Japanese heritage as well. This lovely circular story about family and tradition embraces the concept of home in a way that many immigrants will understand. The poignant story is nicely narrated by B. D. Wong. The original music by Ernest V. Troost begins with a Japanese flavor, but adopts a slightly more Western tone as the story progresses, beautifully complementing the text. Say's lovely watercolor illustrations, created like a family album, are scanned iconographically creating a feeling of movement. The production concludes with a 2008 interview with the author where viewers can learn more about his life as well as how the book was created. The CD contains the sound track from the DVD. This is an exceptional program that calls to the heart.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780395570357 Ages 4 and up. See Focus p.1974.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780395570357 Gr 3 Up-A personal history of three generations of the author's family that points out the emotions that are common to the immigrant experience. Splendid, photoreal watercolors have the look of formal family portraits or candid snapshots, all set against idyllic landscapes in Japan and in the U.S. (Sept., 1993) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780395570357 ``The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other,'' observes Say near the end of this poignant account of three generations of his family's moves between Japan and the US. Say's grandfather came here as a young man, married, and lived in San Francisco until his daughter was ``nearly grown'' before returning to Japan; his treasured plan to visit the US once again was delayed, forever as it turned out, by WW II. Say's American-born mother married in Japan (cf. Tree of Cranes, 1991), while he, born in Yokohama, came here at 16. In lucid, graceful language, he chronicles these passages, reflecting his love of both countries--plus the expatriate's ever-present longing for home--in both simple text and exquisitely composed watercolors: scenes of his grandfather discovering his new country and returning with new appreciation to the old, and pensive portraits recalling family photos, including two evoking the war and its aftermath. Lovely, quiet- -with a tenderness and warmth new to this fine illustrator's work. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4+)
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780544050501 As a young man, Say's grandfather travels throughout America, eventually returning to Japan. Say, who lived in California when he wrote this book, finds "the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other. I think know my grandfather now." The immigrant experience has rarely been so poignantly evoked as it is in this narrative, accompanied by soft-toned watercolors. This edition includes a one-page introduction by the author. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780395570357 Ages 6^-8, older for reading alone. Winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal, this is an exquisitely illustrated account of the restless journey of an early Japanese American immigrant who came to California and always felt caught between his new home and the one he left behind.
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  Book Jacket
 
1993
The Fortune Tellers
Book Jacket   Lloyd Alexander
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780525448495 The hands of fate deftly propel this original folktale. A seedy fortune-teller profits from gullible and sometimes desperate villagers who seek predictions for a rosier future. One unhappy carpenter takes to heart the seer's hardly helpful advice--``Rich you will surely be, on one condition: that you earn large sums of money''--and looks forward to a prosperous life. Most surprising to the craftsman, he ends up in the right place at the right time and the prediction comes true. Alexander's chipper text has a jaunty and infectious ``just so'' tone. Amazing coincidences fuse the plot elements, but the story's logic remains intact, successfully suspending the reader's disbelief. Hyman's acrylic, ink and crayon illustrations capture the landscape and people of West Africa in vivid detail. Indigenous plants and animals--including comically placed lizards--dot each scene, and the villagers' lushly textured apparel is spectacular. Especially opulent are spreads featuring the fortune-teller's cluttered quarters and the market stalls with their baskets and pottery. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525448495 Gr 1-4?A master storyteller and an art maven join forces to create some marvelous, magical images. The texture of life and the colors of Cameroon are interwoven into this telling tale about a young man who wants to see what his future holds. (Sept. 1992) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780525448495 When the poor, hard-working young carpenter seeks comfort from a fortuneteller, the old man hoodwinks him with double talk: ``Rich you will surely be...[if] you earn large sums of money.'' But fate has a more benign trick in store. The cheating seer mysteriously vanishes; his cloth-merchant landlords, supposing that he has transformed himself into this fine young man, spread word of his predictive powers, and the youth is off to a prosperous new career. Meanwhile, the old man has been as unlucky as his successor is fortunate. Alexander narrates his original tale with folkloric verve and his own mellow brand of irony; Hyman realizes the African setting in broad double spreads rich with the lovely patterns and subtle, warm tones of the fabrics of Cameroon. There are also fine touches of humor in these splendid illustrations, and intriguing characterizations--especially of the carpenter, who enjoys his luck without being overearnest about it, and the beautifully individualized figures in the many crowd scenes. A winning tale, superlatively presented. (Picture book. 4-10)
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525448495 Fiction: PB An unhappy carpenter seeks the advice of a fortuneteller, from whom he hears only what he wants to hear. When he returns and is mistaken for the fortuneteller, he finds the new trade easier than his old and quickly becomes rich and famous. Hyman's rendering of scenes in the central-African country of Cameroon delights the eye. A book that pulses with life and good humor. Horn Rating: Outstanding, noteworthy in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: ef (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780140562330 "Alexander's chipper text has a jaunty and infectious `just so' tone," said PW in a starred review of this original folktale about a crooked fortune teller who predicts wealth and happiness for a carpenter. Ages 3-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780525448495 Ages 4-8. Alexander's rags-to-riches story combines universal elements of the trickster character and the cumulative disaster tale. Hyman's pictures set it all in a vibrant community in Cameroon, West Africa. An old fortune-teller assures a young carpenter he'll be rich (if he earns large sums of money), he'll be famous (once he becomes well known), etc. Then the old man disappears; the people think he's been transformed into the carpenter, who quickly takes on the fortune-teller's role, learns the portentous babble, and becomes rich, famous, and happy. Meanwhile, we discover what really happened to the old man: he fell out of the window, had a series of accidents, and disappeared without a trace. The energetic, brilliantly colored paintings are packed with people and objects that swirl around the main characters. Bathed in golden light, the carpenter's dreams of wealth, power, and romance look pale beside the magical daily life of the community. You can look and look at these pictures and see ever more detail of patterns and textures in foods, creatures, carvings, basketware, and, above all, the woven patterned cloths worn by everyone in gorgeous combinations. For the last part of the story--the bad fortune that happens as easily as the good--the packed pictures empty out to a view of wide savanna and the old man falling from the sky like Icarus, lost without a trace. With its ups and downs, this is a funny, playful story that evokes the irony of the human condition. ~--Hazel Rochman
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525448495 Gr 1-4-- A young carpenter, tired of hammering and sawing, seeks out a fortune-teller to see what his future holds. The cagey old prophet promises him a rosy future--well, maybe. `` `Rich you will surely be,' '' says the fortune-teller, if `` `you earn large sums of money.' '' Moreover, `` `You shall wed your true love . . . if you find her and she agrees. And you shall be happy as any in the world if you can avoid being miserable.' '' Pleased with these promising, if ambiguous, predictions, the carpenter leaves, only to get halfway home and decide he has more questions to ask. But the fortune-teller has mysteriously vanished, leaving the carpenter in the quirky hand of fate where, in typical Alexander fashion, his life takes a surprising and humorous turn. The story's warm and witty tone is reinforced by Hyman's masterful illustrations. Expressive figures are dynamically placed against a West African landscape, in colors so rich and clear that they invite readers to touch the fabrics and breathe the air. Visual details--carved wooden stools, traditional cloth patterns, signs in French--add an authenticity to the story (which is actually set in Cameroon), while touches of humor in postures and expressions underscore Alexander's gentle wit. These illustrations are obviously a labor of love. Vibrant with life and good humor, this is a supremely satisfying creation. --Linda Boyles, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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1992
Seven Blind Mice
Book Jacket   Ed Young
Horn Book (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399222610 Fiction: is able to discern that it is an elephant. The spareness of the text is echoed in the splendid collages. Immensely appealing."" Age: ef In the Indian fable, each blind mouse visits the elephant and declares that he has discovered a pillar, a snake, a cliff, a spear, a fan, or a rope. But a seventh mouse, the only one to investigate the whole Horn Rating: Outstanding, noteworthy in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: something (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780439027830 K-Gr 3-When seven blind mice discover a strange "something" by their pond, each in turn goes to explore it in Ed Young's Caldecott Honor book ((Putnam, 1992). On Monday, red mouse encounters a sturdy pillar. On Tuesday, green mouse finds a snake. Yellow mouse thinks that it's a spear, while the other mice speculate that it is a cliff, a fan, and a rope. On the seventh day, white mouse undertakes a thorough investigation to settle the argument once and for all. She runs from one end to the other and back, and concedes that the something is indeed as sturdy as a pillar, as supple as a snake, as sharp as a spear, as wide as a cliff, as breezy as a fan, and as stringy as a rope- "but all together the something is an elephant!" The "Mouse Moral" is that "knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes in seeing the whole." In an interview, Young shares how he transformed the Indian folktale, "The Six Blind Men and The Elephant," into this simple fable that not only tells a story of wisdom and teamwork, but also teaches colors, the days of the week, simile, ordinal numbers, and mathematical proportion. Young's striking primary-colored illustrations on black backgrounds are brought to life with animation and hypnotic background music featuring strings and woodwinds. After viewing, youngsters can explore parts and wholes through descriptive writing and collage. This selection is a winner.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780399222610 In a stunning celebration of color Caldecott medalist Young ( Lon Po Po ) offers a vibrant variation on the fable of the blind men trying to identify an elephant. Seven differently-hued blind mice approach the ``strange Something'' in their midst on successive days and report their findings to the group. A large black square provides the background for each painting, a dramatic contrast to the brilliant images ``felt'' by the sightless rodents. Young's textured, cut-paper illustrations allow readers to visualize just how a floppy ear might be mistaken for a fan (``I felt it move!''); the elephant's curving trunk springs to life as both a jewel-green snake and a glowing yellow spear. The spare text permits greater exploration and enjoyment of the artwork--it may be difficult to read the story straight through without stopping to compare the various images. The ``Mouse Moral'' that concludes the tale--``Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole''--may seem superfluous to those who prefer the imaginative ``vision'' of the mice. Ages 4-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399222610 K-Gr 3-- A real winner, on many levels. The first impression is visual delight. Brilliant colors and varied textures of paper collage are placed in striking contrast against velvety black pages. Bold white lettering imposed on the dark background tells of seven blind mice, seen in seven bright colors. Over the course of a week each investigates, in turn, the strange ``Something'' it encounters. To one it is a pillar, to another a snake, to another a cliff. Finally, on the seventh day, the white mouse, running across the thing and remembering what the others found, concludes that it is an elephant. The tale ends with the moral that wisdom comes from seeing ``the whole.'' Adapting the old fable of the blind men and the elephant by weaving in the days of the week, the mice, and the beautiful shapes of the things they see, Young gives children a clever story, wise words, and a truly exciting visual experience.-- Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780399222610 A many-talented illustrator (Lon Po Po, 1989, Caldecott Medal) uses a new medium--collage--in an innovative reworking of ``The Blind Men and the Elephant,'' with splendid results: a book that casually rehearses the days of the week, numbers (ordinal and cardinal), and colors while memorably explicating and extending the theme: ``Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.'' The mice (first seen as an intriguing row of bright tails on the elegantly spare black title spread) are the colors of the rainbow plus white; they, the white text, and the parts of the elephant (as they really are and as the mice imagine them) are superimposed on a dramatic black ground. The real elephant is skillfully composed with textured and crumpled paper in gentle earth tones; in a sly philosophical twist, the form each mouse imagines is the color of the mouse: e.g., Green Mouse says the trunk is a snake, shown as green. On Sunday, White Mouse (the only female) runs over the entire elephant, getting the others to join her; now, at last, with her help, they all understand the whole. Exquisitely crafted: a simple, gracefully honed text, an appealing story, real but unobtrusive values and levels of meaning, and outstanding illustrations and design--all add up to a perfect book. (Picture book. 3+)
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399222610 Fiction: is able to discern that it is an elephant. The spareness of the text is echoed in the splendid collages. Immensely appealing."" Age: ef In the Indian fable, each blind mouse visits the elephant and declares that he has discovered a pillar, a snake, a cliff, a spear, a fan, or a rope. But a seventh mouse, the only one to investigate the whole Horn Rating: Outstanding, noteworthy in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: something (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. K-Gr 3-When seven blind mice discover a strange "something" by their pond, each in turn goes to explore it in Ed Young's Caldecott Honor book ((Putnam, 1992). On Monday, red mouse encounters a sturdy pillar. On Tuesday, green mouse finds a snake. Yellow mouse thinks that it's a spear, while the other mice speculate that it is a cliff, a fan, and a rope. On the seventh day, white mouse undertakes a thorough investigation to settle the argument once and for all. She runs from one end to the other and back, and concedes that the something is indeed as sturdy as a pillar, as supple as a snake, as sharp as a spear, as wide as a cliff, as breezy as a fan, and as stringy as a rope- "but all together the something is an elephant!" The "Mouse Moral" is that "knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes in seeing the whole." In an interview, Young shares how he transformed the Indian folktale, "The Six Blind Men and The Elephant," into this simple fable that not only tells a story of wisdom and teamwork, but also teaches colors, the days of the week, simile, ordinal numbers, and mathematical proportion. Young's striking primary-colored illustrations on black backgrounds are brought to life with animation and hypnotic background music featuring strings and woodwinds. After viewing, youngsters can explore parts and wholes through descriptive writing and collage. This selection is a winner.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780439027830 K-Gr 3-When seven blind mice discover a strange "something" by their pond, each in turn goes to explore it in Ed Young's Caldecott Honor book ((Putnam, 1992). On Monday, red mouse encounters a sturdy pillar. On Tuesday, green mouse finds a snake. Yellow mouse thinks that it's a spear, while the other mice speculate that it is a cliff, a fan, and a rope. On the seventh day, white mouse undertakes a thorough investigation to settle the argument once and for all. She runs from one end to the other and back, and concedes that the something is indeed as sturdy as a pillar, as supple as a snake, as sharp as a spear, as wide as a cliff, as breezy as a fan, and as stringy as a rope- "but all together the something is an elephant!" The "Mouse Moral" is that "knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes in seeing the whole." In an interview, Young shares how he transformed the Indian folktale, "The Six Blind Men and The Elephant," into this simple fable that not only tells a story of wisdom and teamwork, but also teaches colors, the days of the week, simile, ordinal numbers, and mathematical proportion. Young's striking primary-colored illustrations on black backgrounds are brought to life with animation and hypnotic background music featuring strings and woodwinds. After viewing, youngsters can explore parts and wholes through descriptive writing and collage. This selection is a winner.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. /*STARRED REVIEW*/ Ages 3-8. In Young's version of the familiar Indian folktale of the blind men and the elephant, seven blind mice approach an elephant, ask what it is, explore various parts of the beast, and arrive at different conclusions. On Monday, Red Mouse feels the elephant's leg and proclaims "It's a pillar." On Tuesday, Green Mouse jumps onto the elephant's trunk and decides, "It's a snake." On Wednesday, Yellow Mouse checks out the tusk and says, "It's a spear." But on the seventh day, White Mouse scampers all over the creature and puts all the clues together. The author offers this moral, "Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole." Many preschool and primary grade teachers will find that the book reinforces their students' learning of colors, days of the week, and ordinal numbers, while heeding the story's admonition not to lose sight of the whole in their enthusiasm for identifying the parts.<^P>Graphically, this picture book is stunning, with the cut-paper figures of the eight characters dramatically silhouetted against black backgrounds. White lettering and borders provide contrast, but the eye is always drawn to the mottled, beige tones of the elephant and the brightly colored mice, vibrant against the large, black pages. Playing with color and line, light and dark, and with the concepts of sightlessness and visualization, Young designs a title page spread with only the mice's colorful tails appearing against the blackness; like the blind mice themselves, viewers will call on their imaginations to fill in the rest. What does one see? Curved lines? Tails? Mice? At once profound and simple, intelligent and playful, this picture book is the work of an artist who understands the medium and respects his audience. (Reviewed Apr. 1, 1992)0399222618Carolyn Phelan
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780399222610 In a stunning celebration of color Caldecott medalist Young ( Lon Po Po ) offers a vibrant variation on the fable of the blind men trying to identify an elephant. Seven differently-hued blind mice approach the ``strange Something'' in their midst on successive days and report their findings to the group. A large black square provides the background for each painting, a dramatic contrast to the brilliant images ``felt'' by the sightless rodents. Young's textured, cut-paper illustrations allow readers to visualize just how a floppy ear might be mistaken for a fan (``I felt it move!''); the elephant's curving trunk springs to life as both a jewel-green snake and a glowing yellow spear. The spare text permits greater exploration and enjoyment of the artwork--it may be difficult to read the story straight through without stopping to compare the various images. The ``Mouse Moral'' that concludes the tale--``Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole''--may seem superfluous to those who prefer the imaginative ``vision'' of the mice. Ages 4-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399222610 K-Gr 3-- A real winner, on many levels. The first impression is visual delight. Brilliant colors and varied textures of paper collage are placed in striking contrast against velvety black pages. Bold white lettering imposed on the dark background tells of seven blind mice, seen in seven bright colors. Over the course of a week each investigates, in turn, the strange ``Something'' it encounters. To one it is a pillar, to another a snake, to another a cliff. Finally, on the seventh day, the white mouse, running across the thing and remembering what the others found, concludes that it is an elephant. The tale ends with the moral that wisdom comes from seeing ``the whole.'' Adapting the old fable of the blind men and the elephant by weaving in the days of the week, the mice, and the beautiful shapes of the things they see, Young gives children a clever story, wise words, and a truly exciting visual experience.-- Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780399222610 A many-talented illustrator (Lon Po Po, 1989, Caldecott Medal) uses a new medium--collage--in an innovative reworking of ``The Blind Men and the Elephant,'' with splendid results: a book that casually rehearses the days of the week, numbers (ordinal and cardinal), and colors while memorably explicating and extending the theme: ``Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.'' The mice (first seen as an intriguing row of bright tails on the elegantly spare black title spread) are the colors of the rainbow plus white; they, the white text, and the parts of the elephant (as they really are and as the mice imagine them) are superimposed on a dramatic black ground. The real elephant is skillfully composed with textured and crumpled paper in gentle earth tones; in a sly philosophical twist, the form each mouse imagines is the color of the mouse: e.g., Green Mouse says the trunk is a snake, shown as green. On Sunday, White Mouse (the only female) runs over the entire elephant, getting the others to join her; now, at last, with her help, they all understand the whole. Exquisitely crafted: a simple, gracefully honed text, an appealing story, real but unobtrusive values and levels of meaning, and outstanding illustrations and design--all add up to a perfect book. (Picture book. 3+)
...More
 
1991
The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks
 Katherine Paterson
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A cruel Japanese lord is preparing to execute Yasuko, the kitchen maid who set free a lovely mandarin drake the lord had in captivity, and Shozor, the one-eyed servant who tried to take the blame in her place. Providentially, two messengers arrive to take the couple to the Imperial Court: they explain that after a vision of the merciful Buddha, the emperor has abolished capital punishment. Actually, though, the messengers are the duck and his mate in disguise; leading Shozo and Yasuko to a comfortable forest hut, they leave the loving couple there for a long, happy life together. Although the jacket describes this as a folk-tale, LC classifies it as fiction. Whichever, Paterson tells it with subtlety, grace, and her characteristic sensitivity to such troths as that ""trouble can always be borne when it is shared."" The Dillons, who have twice won the Caldecott Medal, have outdone themselves in these elegant, deftly limned illustrations in a Japanese style. In mellow, grayed hues and crisp black, each double spread appears in two borderless panels that allow the eye to make them one without catching in the gutter; the blocks of text are expertly incorporated in the handsome design. An outstanding contribution. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780525672838 Ages 5^-9. In a quiet, dignified retelling of a Japanese fairy tale, a serving girl saves a Mandarin duck from captivity and is rewarded for her efforts. The warm, expressive artwork, which resembles Japanese prints, is a perfect complement.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780140557398 A one-eyed samurai is unjustly forced to be a servant in this Japanese folktale; PW praised Paterson's retelling as ``rich with magic, compassion and love,'' and the Dillons' pastel and watercolor illustrations as ``exquisite.'' Ages 5-8. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525672838 Fiction: NF Age: K-3 A graceful, imaginative retelling of a Japanese tale. When a kitchen maid releases a magnificent drake held captive by a cruel lord, a steward accepts the blame; both are sentenced to death. Their miraculous rescue provides an ingenious, satisfying conclusion. The book contains some of the Dillons' most splendid work. Horn Rating: Outstanding, noteworthy in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: elh (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780525672838 In another picture book retelling of a Japanese folktale, Paterson ( The Tongue-Cut Sparrow ) recounts the story of Shozo, a one-eyed Samurai unjustly forced to be a servant, and Yasuko, a kitchen maid. They befriend a mandarin duck who pines for his mate while kept in captivity by a fearsome lord. When Yasuko releases the duck, both servants are sentenced to death, but they are subsequently saved by two mysterious imperial messengers who care for them throughout the night and disappear, leaving in their place the two mandarin ducks. Yasuko and Shozo live happily from that time on because ``as they had learned years before, trouble can always be borne when it is shared.'' Paterson's story is rich with magic, compassion and love. The Dillons' elegantly detailed watercolor and pastel drawings, in the style of 18th-century Japanese woodcuts, are exquisite. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525672838 There is a quiet subtlety of tone in both text and illustration that perfectly captures the spirit of this Japanese folktale. Paterson's economical use of language conveys the pure essence of a story that needs no verbal embellishment. A mandarin drake is separated from his mate by a cruel lord who covets beautiful things, only for the honor they bring him as their possessor. When the drake's magnificently colored plumage fades, he is banished to a far corner of the kitchen where Yasuko, the kitchen maid, frees him. The lord blames Shozo, the one-eyed chief steward who had once been a powerful samurai, beats him, strips him of his rank, and forces him to haul waste and scrub toilets. When Yasuko and Shozo fall in love, the lord sentences them to death; they are saved, however, by two messengers announcing that the emperor has abolished capital punishment. The Dillons' watercolor and pastel paintings have the appearance of woodcuts with a luminous quality, conveying both the gentleness and the strength of the characters and of the bond of love between the two couples, human and duck. The illustrations are simultaneously powerful and ethereal with bold lines and fine details which, nonetheless, are more suggestive than definitive. This visual understatement is seen most clearly in the depiction of nature. Each tree, flower, or blade of grass hints of more behind. There is a grace in the flowing lines of the kimonos and beauty in the muted autumn/winter palette, giving a golden, blue-gray, or mauve glow to the various scenes. Although the obvious message of this tale is that of kindness rewarded, there is a more subtle message brought home in the final words, ``trouble can always be borne when it is shared.'' --Kay E. Vandergrift, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780525672838 Ages 5-9. A Japanese fairy tale, in picture-book format, about a Mandarin duck caught and caged at the whim of a wealthy Japanese lord. Separated from his mate, the bird languishes in captivity until a compassionate servant girl sets him free. The lord sentences the girl and her beloved to death, but they in turn are freed and rewarded with happiness. In the best fairytale tradition, their rescuers, ostensibly servants of the Emperor, turn out to be the grateful drake and his mate. The unity, simplicity, and grace of Paterson's writing find apt expression in the Dillons' watercolor and pastel illustrations. Resembling traditional Japanese prints in their strong, expressive lines, the horizontal pictures feature muted colors with warm undertones. The artwork, like the text, uses repeated patterns and motifs to good effect. The occasional positioning of a small, bordered picture within the larger double-page spread enables the viewer to see in two places at once, for example, the palace where the caged drake sits and the nest where his mate awaits him. A good choice to read aloud, this picture book offers children an appealing folktale expressed with quiet dignity. ~--Carolyn Phelan
...More
  Book Jacket
1990
Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China
 Ed Young
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780399216190 Ages 6^-9. Young incorporates a wolf image into every illustration in this Chinese version of the familiar Red Riding Hood tale, imparting a sense of courage as well as danger.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780399216190 Through dramatic wolf images, Young brings new perspectives to this compelling story of three little girls who outwit a wolf posing as their grandmother. The 1990 Caldecott Award Book.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399216190 Gr 1-5-With forceful impressionistic paintings, Young artfully entices readers across the fairy-tale threshold into a story of three girls' fearless battle of wits with a famished wolf. (Dec. 1989) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780399216190 This version of the Red Riding Hood story from Young ( The Emperor and the Kite ; Cats Are Cats ; Yeh-Shen ) features three daughters left at home when their mother goes to visit their grandmother. Lon Po Po, the Granny Wolf, pretends to be the girls' grandmother, until clever Shang, the eldest daughter, suspects the greedy wolf's real identity. Tempting him with ginkgo nuts, the girls pull him in a basket to the top of the tree in which they are hiding, then let go of the rope--killing him. One of Young's most arresting illustrations accompanies his dedication: ``To all the wolves of the world for lending their good name as a tangible symbol for our darkness.'' Like ancient Oriental paintings, the illustrations are frequently grouped in panels. When the girls meet the wolf, e.g., the left panel focuses on their wary faces peering out from the darkness, the middle enlarges the evil wolf's eye and teeth, and the third is a vivid swirl of the blue clothes in which the wolf is disguised. The juxtaposition of abstract and realistic representations, the complicated play of color and shadow, and the depth of the artist's vision all help transform this simple fairy tale into an extraordinary and powerful book. Ages 4-8. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Horn Book (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399216190 Fiction: NF Age: K-3 Young has given his fine retelling of this Red-Riding Hood variant the look of old Chinese decorative panels. The illustrations throb with the mystery and terror of the wolf and the round-eyed fright of the children. Review, p. 79. Horn Rating: Outstanding, noteworthy in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: ert (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780399216190 Ages 6-9. See Focus p.672.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399216190 Gr 1-5-- A gripping variation on Red Riding Hood that involves three little sisters who outsmart the wolf ( lon or long in Cantonese) who has gained entry to their home under the false pretense of being their maternal grandmother ( Po Po ). The clever animal blows out the candle before the children can see him , and is actually in bed with them when they start asking the traditional ``Why, Grandma!'' questions. The eldest realizes the truth and tricks the wolf into letting them go outside to pick gingko nuts , and then lures him to his doom. The text possesses that matter-of-fact veracity that characterizes the best fairy tales. The watercolor and pastel pictures are remarkable: mystically beautiful in their depiction of the Chinese countryside, menacing in the exchanges with the wolf, and positively chilling in the scenes inside the house. Overall, this is an outstanding achievement that will be pored over again and again.--John Philbrook, San Francisco Pub . Lib . (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780399216190 Ages 6^-9. Young incorporates a wolf image into every illustration in this Chinese version of the familiar Red Riding Hood tale, imparting a sense of courage as well as danger.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780399216190 Through dramatic wolf images, Young brings new perspectives to this compelling story of three little girls who outwit a wolf posing as their grandmother. The 1990 Caldecott Award Book.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399216190 Gr 1-5-With forceful impressionistic paintings, Young artfully entices readers across the fairy-tale threshold into a story of three girls' fearless battle of wits with a famished wolf. (Dec. 1989) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780399216190 This version of the Red Riding Hood story from Young ( The Emperor and the Kite ; Cats Are Cats ; Yeh-Shen ) features three daughters left at home when their mother goes to visit their grandmother. Lon Po Po, the Granny Wolf, pretends to be the girls' grandmother, until clever Shang, the eldest daughter, suspects the greedy wolf's real identity. Tempting him with ginkgo nuts, the girls pull him in a basket to the top of the tree in which they are hiding, then let go of the rope--killing him. One of Young's most arresting illustrations accompanies his dedication: ``To all the wolves of the world for lending their good name as a tangible symbol for our darkness.'' Like ancient Oriental paintings, the illustrations are frequently grouped in panels. When the girls meet the wolf, e.g., the left panel focuses on their wary faces peering out from the darkness, the middle enlarges the evil wolf's eye and teeth, and the third is a vivid swirl of the blue clothes in which the wolf is disguised. The juxtaposition of abstract and realistic representations, the complicated play of color and shadow, and the depth of the artist's vision all help transform this simple fairy tale into an extraordinary and powerful book. Ages 4-8. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. PreS-Gr 3-This iconographic version of the Caldecott-winning book (Philomel, 1989) translated and illustrated by Ed Young offers a Chinese retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood classic story. Three sisters are left alone overnight while their mother visits grandmother (aka Po Po) on her birthday. Despite her parting words, "Remember to close the door tight at sunset and latch it well," the two younger girls let a wolf disguised as their Po Po into the house. Almost immediately, ShangAthe eldest and most clever sisterAbecomes suspicious and wonders, "Po Po, why is your voice so low?...Why did you blow out the candle?" Yet, due to the innocent enthusiasm of the younger girls, they are soon in bed with the scheming beast. Shang orchestrates their escape, luring the wolf out of the house with the promise of the soft, tender ginkgo nut. The big bad wolf has met his match, confronted with this crafty child, whoAwith the help of a rope and a basketAfinally finishes him off. Young's dramatic, impressionistic pastel-and-watercolor panels seem darker and more menacing against the black background in the film. The bright blues, greens, and oranges provide a striking contrast to the wolf's dark grayish browns. The shadows and cautious, frightened faces coupled with the narrator's expressive storytelling will leave viewers on the edge of their seats. The tale is narrated by B. D. Wong, and ominous strings and woodwinds help set the mood. Students will enjoy comparing this version to the classic fairy tale they know so well.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399216190 Fiction: NF Age: K-3 Young has given his fine retelling of this Red-Riding Hood variant the look of old Chinese decorative panels. The illustrations throb with the mystery and terror of the wolf and the round-eyed fright of the children. Review, p. 79. Horn Rating: Outstanding, noteworthy in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: ert (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. This compelling tale, translated from a ""collection of Chinese folktales,"" may be the finest book yet from this excellent illustrator--and is certainly among the most beautiful books this year. Three little girls are left alone while their mother, after warning them to keep the door well latched, goes to visit their grandmother (Po Po) for the night. Under cover of darkness, the wily wolf disguises himself as Po Po, prevails on the younger children to let him in, and blows out the candle. But when he doesn't feel like Po Po, the eldest, Shang, contrives to see his hairy face; then she devises a clever plan to trick the wolf and save them all. Another suspenseful version of this tale appeared in Yep's The Rainbow People (p. 774/C-138). Young's graceful translation is both mellower and nobler in tone, while the story is still satisfyingly frightening as the children contend in the dark with the invader. Young's dramatic illustrations, in watercolor and pastel, appear in vertical panels--one or two per page--with some double-spread vistas extending across two or three panels, a device he uses effectively in his wonderfully harmonious designs. The story's terror is both mitigated and enhanced by the artist's suggestive, soft-edged style: there's none of Hollywood's ghoulish precision, but plenty of the mists and shadows where creatures of the imagination thrive--highlighted by the sisters' expressive eyes. A symphony of lovely color progresses from page to page, always related yet fascinating in its variety and contrasts. Even Young's eloquent dedication--""To all the wolves, of the world for lending their good name as a tangible symbol for our darkness""--is perfect. Absolutely splendid. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780399216190 Ages 6-9. See Focus p.672.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399216190 Gr 1-5-- A gripping variation on Red Riding Hood that involves three little sisters who outsmart the wolf ( lon or long in Cantonese) who has gained entry to their home under the false pretense of being their maternal grandmother ( Po Po ). The clever animal blows out the candle before the children can see him , and is actually in bed with them when they start asking the traditional ``Why, Grandma!'' questions. The eldest realizes the truth and tricks the wolf into letting them go outside to pick gingko nuts , and then lures him to his doom. The text possesses that matter-of-fact veracity that characterizes the best fairy tales. The watercolor and pastel pictures are remarkable: mystically beautiful in their depiction of the Chinese countryside, menacing in the exchanges with the wolf, and positively chilling in the scenes inside the house. Overall, this is an outstanding achievement that will be pored over again and again.--John Philbrook, San Francisco Pub . Lib . (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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