Books by Carol Nevius

SOCCER HOUR by Carol Nevius
Released: Feb. 1, 2011

As per usual (Karate Hour, 2004, etc.), Thomson's artwork grabs the eye first and never lets it go. The realism he brings to this practice session and scrimmage is almost spooky, a feeling that is enhanced by the sepia-and-gray overall coloring, with the ball providing a juicy splash of color. Nevius' text, in couplets—"In soccer hour we learn to think; / we come prepared with ball and drink"—can't help but feel like background music, but she does set up the illustrator to get down to business. "We scrimmage, split the team in two, / ‘Thrown down the line, Red. Mark up, Blue!' " allows him to screw in tight on a youngster initiating the ever-awkward two-hand toss. Sometimes he is in the grass, looking up at a player dribbling by. Sometimes he is diving like a bird at two players vying for possession. He pulls back, he draws close, the action both frozen and swarming. Although there are plenty of glimmerings as to soccer's mechanics—meeting the punt, trapping he ball, fake out moves and rainbow kicks—and the emphasis on practice making perfect is brightly handled, this is not an instruction book; it is a participatory experience, full of crackling atmosphere. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

Stunning, photo-realistic paintings entice the reader to pore over the vertical pages in this father-and-son construction venture. The paintings are so illuminative that the rhythmic text seems somewhat redundant. Over several months, son, Dad and the other builders work their way through the assemblage of what is revealed to be a new elementary school. It begins as the youngster rides astride his father's shoulders, the winter sun gleaming coolly on the snow dusting the earth. "Let's go for a ride," says father. "We'll check the construction to make sure it's right." Breaking ground, bulldozers descend, seemingly from a dizzying height. Trenches are dug, Dad's giant grader smoothes, cement is poured and pipes are welded. While father works the site, his son observes, lending the occasional hand. At last the project is complete, the floors are waxed and it's the first day of school. The story is engrossing on many levels to young builders, and the inspiring perspectives and sheer beauty of the artwork will captivate children and adults alike. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
KARATE HOUR by Carol Nevius
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

Viewers will definitely feel like participants in this visit to a children's karate class. Using a palette of creams and grays against dark backgrounds (with color accents provided by variously colored belts), and lighting and low angles that give his close-up, photographically realistic figures a monumental look, Thomson depicts students warming up, practicing strikes and kicks, engaging in some light sparring, then lining up for a closing ritual. In her rhymed commentary and closing note, Nevius briefly describes what's going on—"We energize. Our muscles flex. / We raise our arms, protect our necks"—while introducing rudiments of karate's history and "aims to finish what someone else starts" philosophy. Despite the elaborate illustrations, this offers a more superficial view of karate's inner workings than Anne Rockwell's Chip and the Karate Kick (p. 447), but nonetheless makes an adequate first introduction for prospective karate-kas. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)Read full book review >