THE SNACK SMASHER

AND OTHER REASONS WHY IT’S NOT MY FAULT

Perry and Snow join a time-honored tradition with this gallery of annoying but elusive beasts, from the titular crusher of bagged junk food to the Scary-Hair Fairy and the nocturnal Snorist: “That sound is the Snorist. / It means that he chose / to sneak with his tuba inside your dad’s nose.” Featuring strong rhythms and (generally) exact rhymes, the verses make first-rate read-alouds, and Snow’s brightly colored, oddly proportioned and often deliciously messy cartoon figures add plenty of comical visual notes to each spread. Expect belly laughs aplenty, particularly from Shel Silverstein fans, and readers/listeners fond of Jack Prelutsky’s Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant! (2006), illus by Carin Berger, or other similar gatherings of imaginary creatures. (Poetry. 9-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2007

ISBN: 0-689-85469-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2007

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A CHILD'S CALENDAR

Updike has revised a set of 12 short poems, one per month, first published in 1965, and Hyman’s busy, finely detailed scenes replace the original edition’s illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert. The verses are written in a child’s voice—“The chickadees/Grow plump on seed/That Mother pours/Where they can feed”—and commemorate seasonal weather, flowers, food, and holidays. In the paintings a multiracial, all-ages cast does the same in comfortable, semi-rural New England surroundings, sitting at a table cutting out paper hearts, wading through reeds with a net under a frog’s watchful eye, picnicking, contemplating a leafless tree outside for “November” and a decorated one inside for “December.” The thoughts and language are slightly elevated but not beyond the ken of children, and the pictures enrich the poetry with specific, often amusing, incidents. (Poetry. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1445-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

A BIRD OR TWO

A STORY ABOUT HENRI MATISSE

Less a story than an analysis of Matisse’s art, particularly after his move to Nice, this companion to A Blue Butterfly (1995), on Monet, also combines visual recasting of selected works with poetic commentary: “To his color palette he added the bluest sapphire blue he could imagine. And with it he painted the Mediterranean Sea.” Using a free style of brushwork that evokes Matisse’s own joy and energy, Le Tord alternates her versions of his art with scenes of the man himself, always nattily dressed, always industriously making art. This perceptive personal tribute will enhance readers’ appreciation for Matisse’s work; they won’t mind going elsewhere for biographical details, and reproductions of his actual paintings, sculpture, and collages. (Picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8028-5184-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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