Books by Nancy Barnet

WHERE'S THE FLY? by Carol Lee Cohen
FICTION
Released: March 1, 1996

``Where's the fly?'' appears in large type opposite an illustration of a fly, enlarged many times, against a textured brown background. A turn of the page reveals that the answer is ``On the dog's nose,'' depicted with a close-up of a hound's head with a small fly on its nose. Then, ``Where's the dog?'' Each answer effectively moves readers away from the fly and the dog, as the pictures show ever wider horizons, from yard to street corner, from neighborhood to town, city, bay, ocean, and finally, to the earth floating in space. ``Where's the fly?'' Cohen (Pigeon, Pigeon, 1992, etc.) asks one more time. Barnet, working in colored pencil, is more methodical than the text as she creates the effect of a zoom lens working in reverse, revealing an ever broader swath of the world. While yard, street corner, playground, and school are not dramatically different points of reference, she insistently pushes the perspective back, and subsequently makes the concepts of Istvan Banyai's Zoom and Re- Zoom (both, 1995) accessible to the preschool audience. Running across the top of every recto page are tiny icons, each representing a matching object in the drawing opposite it. As the drawings increase in complexity the objects get more challenging to locate; it's a bonus in an already fine book that works as a brainteaser for young readers and a philosophical launch pad for older ones. (Picture book. 4+) Read full book review >
DREAM MEADOW by Helen V. Griffith
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1994

A simple depiction of a woman and her dog going gently into that good night. Jane, an ``old lady'' who ``spends her days in a rocking chair...and sometimes...doesn't know her own daughter,'' dreams of her childhood; at her feet, old Frisky dreams of puppy days when she could ``run without hurting.'' Though the dog ``wants to go on running and running across the grassy meadow faster and faster until she runs straight up into the sky,'' she always returns to Jane, unwilling to leave without her. In one dream spread, the old woman merges into her childhood self, poised to frolic in a flower-dappled meadow; at the end, the two go together as Frisky had wished. Soft color pencils on rough-grained paper give Barnet's first picture-book illustrations an appealingly dreamy, diffuse texture. Though the book teeters dangerously close to clichÇ, children upset by an approaching death will find the tender reassurance here consoling. (Picture Book. 5-8) Read full book review >