Books by Tim Vyner

IN THE DARK OF THE NIGHT by Paul Stewart
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 1, 2009

In a picture-book departure from his usual fantasy novels, Stewart (The Edge Chronicles, etc.) has crafted an uninspiring coming-of-age tale about a wolf cub. When Cub-of-Mine cannot sleep, Papa Wolf knows it is time to introduce him to the ways of the adult wolves—the way of the night. Through the dark forest they travel, the Papa Wolf constantly reassuring his youngster in the face of his nighttime fears, the cub wondering if he really is big enough. Reaching Singing Rock just in time for moonrise, Papa Wolf encourages Cub-of-Mine to look into his heart and sing the song he finds there—the song that is in every wolf. And when they return to the den, Cub-of-Mine knows that he is big enough. Vyner's watercolors fill the pages with mottled, muted color, reflecting the dark setting. His paintings vary in the degree of detail, unable to overcome the limitations of their nighttime palette. The slow pace, inconsistent illustrations and obscure concepts combine to make this one to miss. (Picture book. 5-7)Read full book review >
WORLD TEAM by Tim Vyner
by Tim Vyner, illustrated by Tim Vyner
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2001

At the same moment around the world, kids are playing, watching, or thinking about soccer. In Italy, "Gianni skips along the street never taking his eyes off the ball. ‘This header for a golden goal,' he imagines. And in the early morning in Rio de Janeiro, Tico is also dreaming of World Cup glory. ‘When I grow up, my friends will all see me score the winning goal!' " Each double-page painting shows the child in his home town, while two lines of text across the bottom describe the setting and quote the child expressing his love for the game. All of the players, except for the New Yorker, are boys. There is a nice mix of urban and rural scenes (though, typically, all the Europeans are urban, all the Africans rural). Though readers may be drawn to the book by the love of the sport, there's little here beyond the conceit of "One big round world, one small round ball." Vyner's realistic-but-gritty-edged paintings do better justice to landscape and detailed scenery than they do to the action of the game. A possibility for classroom use, kids will find this enjoyable enough, but thin. (Picture book. 4-7) Read full book review >
ARCTIC SPRING by Sue Vyner
by Sue Vyner, illustrated by Tim Vyner
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1993

Several animals (arctic hare, arctic fox, ringed seals, narwhal, some unidentified birds) begin their spring cycles of activity. The focus is on a polar bear, first seen emerging from a den dug into a snowbank on the drifting pack ice; two cubs push their way out into the intensifying sunshine at the very end. The first pictures are awash in cold blues; pale yellows and greens creep in, to become stronger and brighter with each page turn. Close-up paintings of the animals' faces are especially appealing. An appendix adds a few facts about the animals and a map of the Arctic. One quibble: the text refers to the polar bear, hare, and fox as being ``awake'' because the winter darkness has ended, implying that they have been hibernating; but, while the polar bear undergoes a period of relative dormancy, none of these animals actually hibernates. Interesting to pair with Dunphy's Here Is the Arctic Winter (p. 454), which shows most of the same animals against a darker, harsher backdrop and with a much stronger sense of their predator/prey relationships. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >