Books by Jeffrey Greene

NON-FICTION
Released: March 13, 2002

"There's always something afoot in these pages, but the atmosphere bespeaks sweet torpor as Greene pursues an infusion of pleasure, a modest slice of history, an honest sense of place."
The story of yet another French country house and its travails in the hands of its new, non-French owners, this time told in a relaxed, un-selfconscious, and observant fashion by poet Greene (American Spirituals, not reviewed). Read full book review >
RED RIBBON by Sarah Weeks
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 30, 1995

Jenny, the 8-year-old neighbor of an AIDS victim, learns from her mother another way to wear the red hair ribbon she gets for her birthdayin the simple loop that has come to represent commitment to AIDS eradication and education, and compassion for those with the disease. The full-page paintings that face each verse of the simple rhyming text have a muted, downcast air created by dark colors and shadows; figures and expressions are clearly rendered, and though the neighbor is mostly seen from the back or at a distance, a final close-up of his thin hand holding a shell, feathers, and Jenny's other personal treasures sounds a more intimate note. The book is packaged with a single-song cassette and a length of ribbon; a portion of the royalties will go to organizations serving children and adults affected by AIDS. Share this with children who ask what the red ribbon means. (Picture book. 5-7) Read full book review >
SHADOW PLAY by Penny Harter
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

Harter (Stages and Views, not reviewed) evokes nighttime in a series of haiku poems that capture its sounds, shadows, and muted colors. As a child falls asleep, he remembers (imagines? dreams?) of nighttime excursions, lunar eclipses, shooting stars, the Milky Way. On a country road ``all the stars pour through/the car radio...by the roadside/one cow lifts her face/into our headlights.'' At a circus, a fortuneteller ``traces the line in my palm to a star.'' And on a moonless night there are ``as many crickets singing/as the stars.'' Drawn in off-color hues that bring to mind the forest greens and maroons of 1940s cars and styles, Greene's rich pastel-work brings Harter's modern haiku back to another time, and another childhood. The night is alive with movement, and with light, in this stunning book. (Poetry/Picture book. 6-11) Read full book review >
BACKYARD BEAR by Jim Murphy
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 1993

Told mostly from a bear's point of view, a thoughtful, nonjudgmental, and scrupulously realistic depiction of people in uneasy confrontation with the wild. In a note, Murphy explains that human encroachments on bears' territory and the lure of easy food are making bear sightings in suburban neighborhoods more common. This story describes such an incident. Driven away by an older bear protecting some blackberries, a bear follows the smell of food into town, where he disturbs some raccoons and rouses a dog and its family who, when they realize it's a bear, call the police. In the confusion created by the interaction of the dog, a boy with a camera, his frightened parents, and a policeman about to shoot the cornered animal, the bear knocks down a fence, then hides out nearby until escaping to the woods at dawn. Greene's dark, dramatically posed paintings nicely capture the ambience of the peaceful, moonlit rural community and the confusion of an exciting encounter that could easily have ended in tragedy. Brief but interesting bibliography, including books from several state agencies. (Picture book. 4-9) Read full book review >