ONCE AROUND THE SUN

A celebration of the 12 months of the year in lyric verse and colorful art. Pham’s bright illustrations resemble watercolors and use an extensive palette, and Katz’s dozen poetic paeans are accessible tumbles of imagery. September, for example, is built around the first day of school, chalk and notebooks and yellow pencils leading to the new teacher writing her name on the blackboard. Each poem also sits on a different background of an appropriate color; December a frosty blue studded with snowflakes, May a blend of greens shades, etc. Two additional two-page illustrations depict the summer (between June and July) and winter (just after December) panoramically. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts; altogether, the book portrays a friendly multicultural urban world, children sledding down a snowy hill against a backdrop of tall buildings in January, people of multiple races buying apples and turkeys at a street market in November. An attractive introduction to poetry for young readers. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-15-216397-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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THE BOY WHO LOVED WORDS

A charmingly prolix tall tale of a boy so word-obsessed that he collects new words on slips of paper. They bulge from his pockets, float around his head and fill his world. Classmates nickname Selig “Wordsworth” and give him a word for his collection: “oddball.” The discovery that his purpose in life is to share his carefully chosen words with others leads to success and love. And, “if, one day, . . . the perfect word just seems to come to you . . . you’ll know that Selig is near.” Schotter’s words are enlivened by Potter’s distinctively naïve figures, all placed in settings in which words and labels are scattered about in a way that invites close inspection and promotes purposeful inquiry. It all adds up to an *exultant encounter, chockablock with tintinnabulating gusto (*see tantalizing glossary appended). A gift to precocious children and teachers as well. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 28, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83601-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006

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ALL THE COLORS OF THE EARTH

This heavily earnest celebration of multi-ethnicity combines full-bleed paintings of smiling children, viewed through a golden haze dancing, playing, planting seedlings, and the like, with a hyperbolic, disconnected text—``Dark as leopard spots, light as sand,/Children buzz with laughter that kisses our land...''— printed in wavy lines. Literal-minded readers may have trouble with the author's premise, that ``Children come in all the colors of the earth and sky and sea'' (green? blue?), and most of the children here, though of diverse and mixed racial ancestry, wear shorts and T-shirts and seem to be about the same age. Hamanaka has chosen a worthy theme, but she develops it without the humor or imagination that animates her Screen of Frogs (1993). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-688-11131-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1994

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