SEASONS

Paging through this long series of full-page or full-spread serigraphic seasonal scenes and iconic images quickly becomes immersive. As the artist goes for silhouettes and broad, sometimes layered patches of color rather than fine detail (though there’s some of that too, in a delicate mosquito or the subtle sheen of a luscious plum), the multi-year round has an abstract, dreamlike quality that will draw viewers into the rhythms of each season. It’s a human-centered but outdoorsy world: Flowers and leaves bud, open and fall; birds thread a piece of yarn into their nest; an ice-cream cart wheels by; a splashy swim is followed by a sunburned back. Though the mood is largely idyllic, a flood, a forest fire, an avalanche and several other dramatic incidents add emotional dimension. Big one- or two-word captions accompany each picture and sometimes create links—a fall of “Snow” draws grown-ups outside for a “Snowball Fight,” which gives way to “Silence” over a pulled-back view of an isolated, cozy house with a curl of smoke above the chimney. Both a stylish debut (on this side of the Atlantic) and a distinctive showcase for this French comics illustrator. (Artist’s album. 4 & up)

Pub Date: April 30, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59270-095-0

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2010

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A substantive and affirming addition to any collection.

THE ABCS OF BLACK HISTORY

An impressive array of names, events, and concepts from Black history are introduced in this alphabet book for early-elementary readers.

From A for anthem (“a banner of song / that wraps us in hope, lets us know we belong”) to Z for zenith (“the top of that mountain King said we would reach”), this picture book is a journey through episodes, ideas, and personalities that represent a wide range of Black experiences. Some spreads celebrate readers themselves, like B for beautiful (“I’m talking to you!”); others celebrate accomplishments, such as E for explore (Matthew Henson, Mae Jemison), or experiences, like G for the Great Migration. The rhyming verses are light on the tongue, making the reading smooth and soothing. The brightly colored, folk art–style illustrations offer vibrant scenes of historical and contemporary Black life, with common people and famous people represented in turn. Whether reading straight through and poring over each page or flipping about to look at the refreshing scenes full of brown and black faces, readers will feel pride and admiration for the resilience and achievements of Black people and a call to participate in the “unfinished…American tale.” Endnotes clarify terms and figures, and a resource list includes child-friendly books, websites, museums, and poems.

A substantive and affirming addition to any collection. (Informational picture book. 6-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5235-0749-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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As ephemeral as a valentine.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2021

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