FACES OF THE MOON

Crelin opens with a question that young readers often wonder—why does the moon change shape? Unfortunately, his answer is difficult to grasp. Singsong phrases and forced rhymes stilt the science and muddle the conclusions. “Each changing face (or lunar phase) / repeats each nine-and-twenty days.” Listeners may appreciate the rhythm, but most insight will come from the visual clues. Strategically placed die-cuts show the moon as it waxes or wanes with each page turn. Tabs are also cut into the border and marked with images of the changing moon, forming a timeline at the book’s edge. Evans’s block-print illustrations, carved with precision, echo the slices of moon that are shaved away. In contrast to the rhyming text, a simple end note clearly explains this lunar dance of shadow and light. Fun “Moon Memo-Rhymes” are also included to help remember moon facts. There is no doubt that the author knows his crescent from his gibbous phase; but alas, the verse style should have been limited to the memo-rhymes. Recommended for visual learners at best. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: July 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-57091-785-1

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2009

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HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

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DINOSAURS GALORE!

A dozen familiar dinosaurs introduce themselves in verse in this uninspired, if colorful, new animal gallery from the authors of Commotion in the Ocean (2000). Smiling, usually toothily, and sporting an array of diamonds, lightning bolts, spikes and tiger stripes, the garishly colored dinosaurs make an eye-catching show, but their comments seldom measure up to their appearance: “I’m a swimming reptile, / I dive down in the sea. / And when I spot a yummy squid, / I eat it up with glee!” (“Ichthyosaurus”) Next to the likes of Kevin Crotty’s Dinosongs (2000), illustrated by Kurt Vargo, or Jack Prelutsky’s classic Tyrannosaurus Was A Beast (1988), illustrated by Arnold Lobel, there’s not much here to roar about. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-58925-044-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2005

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