Books by Andrea Shine

Released: March 1, 1998

A careless, destructive act leads to lifelong friendship and a family tradition in this moving, stunningly illustrated story. Every spring when a father takes his daughter out to plant tomatoes, peppers, onions, marigolds, and zinnias in the yard, he tells her about the time when, in a few moments one August afternoon, he and his friends ruined the similar garden old Mr. Bellavista had planted in an empty lot. Stung with remorse, the boy watches Mr. Bellavista silently clean up the wreckage, and next April helps him plant a new garden, care for it, and enjoy its harvest. Mr. Bellavista is gone, but his memory is still part of each year's garden. Equally adept at both the freestyle brushwork of a Stephen Gammell and the light-drenched precision of a Ted Lewin, Shine places her figures in gracefully aging, neatly kept urban and suburban landscapes, capturing nuances of color, expression, and body language as well as the beauty and bounty of tiny, lovingly tended gardens (in the city, water is toted in a bucket from apartments). Brisson (Hot Fudge Hero, 1997, etc.) gives her characters plainspoken, unsentimental, distinct voices in this fine story of intergenerational friendship. (Picture book. 7-9) Read full book review >
THE FARAWAY DRAWER by Harriett Diller
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

Diller (Grandaddy's Highway, 1993, etc.) shows how a sweater is more than an article of clothing to the young girl who narrates. The beautiful sweaters her great-grandmother knit in the intricate patterns of Scandinavia, kept in the drawer, are the places from which journeys of the imagination lift off. A green sweater with Norwegian dancing ladies leads the girl to see herself costumed in that country's national garb; one of blue-and-white Swedish weaving takes her to the sea and into the sky; a red one with diamond-shaped bumps takes her to the Red Planet; a sweater with black, crow-like stitches allows her to hear bird cries. The girl rejects the prosaic names her mother applies to the sweaters, allowing the spell of the handiwork to fuel her fanciful excursions, common enough behavior while looking through such possessions and real enough so that the imagined coldness of the last place she visits sends her out of the fantasies and back to the warmth of home. The spare, lyrical text catches the mood of such dreamy days, perfectly complemented by the realistic watercolor illustrations. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >