Books by Allen Garns

Released: July 7, 2015

"An intriguing glimpse of this renowned archaeological find. (Picture book. 7-10)"
A young boy has a close-up view of Howard Carter's discovery of King Tut's tomb in 1922. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 1996

This prose poem journey through outer space, with sumptuous pastel illustrations, serves as a smart introduction to the heavenly reaches. An omniscient narrator ponders the dreams of the three sleeping astronauts aboard the space shuttle—of stormy Jupiter, perhaps? Or the icy moons of golden Saturn? Each planet is glimpsed, and phenomena such as black holes and nebulae are commented on. Then the speculation shifts: The astronauts, one of whom is a woman, may well be dreaming of a day in their youth. Lastly, ``They dream of sweet times long ago: A glass of milk. Turn out the light. And sink into a soft, soft bed. The moon shines on the sparkling snow. Now kiss the one you love good night.'' With that, Standiford tethers the space voyagers to Earth, humanizing them. While there is plenty to think about in these pages, the tone is calm, making this a delightful space-age lullaby to help ship listeners off to sleep. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1995

In a text as spare as haiku, Bauer (Am I Blue, 1994, etc.) tells of a camping trip that includes roasting hot dogs, catching a fish (and letting it go), and taking in the natural wonder of their surroundings. There is an intensity of shared experience in the writing, of an acknowledgement and celebration of nature. The pace is careful, leisurely; both campers revel in the hushed moments and quiet joys that are a part of such trips. Garns's paintings capture spectacular natural light, and have a comfortable familiarity of details; words and text encourage an attentive reading and a savoring of each page. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
WINTER FOX by Jennifer Brutschy
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

Rosemary treasures the rabbit she named ``Annabelle...the most beautiful name I had ever heard.'' When Annabelle disappears from her outdoor hutch, Papa takes his gun to hunt a fox that also threatens the hens; but when Rosemary sees it—``winter- thin, butterscotch-pale. Its coat...ragged, its body lean and hungry'' in the moonlight, she shouts ``No!'' before he can shoot. Though she knows the fox took Annabelle, he's not as ``big as a tiger'' and ``strong as a bear,'' as she'd imagined, but needy and vulnerable. It would be interesting to compare this honest, beautifully cadenced book—and its luminous, sensitive, roughly rendered art—with Red Fox Running (Clarion, 1993, received too late for review), where Wendell Minor's exquisitely detailed depiction of the fox belies Eve Bunting's description of a hunter struggling to survive and capturing scrupulously anonymous prey. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
GONNA SING MY HEAD OFF! by Kathleen Krull
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

Citing the splendid Fireside Book of Folk Songs (1947, o.p.) as inspiration, Krull gathers 60 lively favorites, old and new, with contemporary appeal—protest and work songs, games and dances, spirituals, nonsense, love songs, etc. Her arrangement is creative: alphabetical order leads to some nice serendipities, e.g., ending with some searching w's—``What Have They Done to the Rain?; ``Will the Circle Be Unbroken?''—and ``Yankee Doodle,'' while an index of song types brings out many other connections. Krull provides simple musical arrangements and fascinating brief introductions to the songs' histories, including recordings by well-known singers from Pete Seeger to the Beach Boys. These are not all pure folk, but they've all been widely sung as if they were, and Krull is scrupulous in accounting for their diverse origins. Even her instructions for singing are fun: ``Unladylike''; ``As if you're seasick.'' Only Garns's illustrations, on almost every spread, are a bit uneven: some seem perfunctory in their choice of subject and in execution; but, elsewhere, he uses the lush tones of his pastels to better advantage in energetic designs, deftly sketched vignettes (``Joe Hill''), or glowing, evocative scenes. An inviting book. Index of first lines. (Nonfiction. 6+) Read full book review >