A silent, magical encounter.

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THE SNOW RABBIT

Subtle nuances of light and color lend a delicate beauty to the illustrations for this wordless tale of a rescued wild creature who returns the favor.

As in her Fox’s Garden (2014, published under her pen name, “Princesse Camcam”), Garoche crafts multilayered dioramas with cut and painted paper figures, photographing them with blurry foregrounds or backgrounds for a sense of depth. Here, two girls, one in a wheelchair and the other able-bodied, both blonde and Caucasian, bring a half-frozen rabbit inside to warm it up, then venture out into snowy woods to set it free. With the house nowhere in sight, the wheelchair gets hung up in a tuft of weeds (though it rolls through or over the snow with an odd lack of difficulty). As the ambulatory child struggles in vain to free the chair, twilight falls, and birds and other creatures gather to watch. But meanwhile, the white rabbit has grown to the size of a horse and so is able to bear the disabled child home through silvery moonlight. If some viewers find the huge rabbit, with its gleaming, fathomless black eyes, enigmatic or even disquieting, the strongly atmospheric visuals do impart a sense of wonder to the setting…and the theme of kindness rewarded always plays sweetly.

A silent, magical encounter. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-59270-181-0

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

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While the amusing scenario may prove to be more a nostalgia trip for adult readers than something today’s kids will...

OY FEH SO?

Weekly Sunday visits from their two aunts and one uncle are so disagreeable that three children take steps to alter the atmosphere through some harmlessly exaggerated imitation.

Each Sunday afternoon the family guests arrive, heavily plop themselves on the living room furniture, and make negative, complaining and resigned statements. “Oy,” says Aunt Essy. “Feh,” says Aunt Chanah. “So?” says Uncle Sam. “That was all they ever said!” Despite the children’s parents’ attempts to make pleasant conversation or the children’s enthusiastic play-acting performed for the guests, the reaction is always the same uncongenial three words. Ink-and-watercolor illustrations depict Essy, Chanah and Sam with unflattering caricatures of stereotypical adult Jewish characters, with clownishly large noses, slouchy, overweight bodies and unsmiling faces. In exasperation, the children each take a role and comically mimic their aunts’ and uncle’s behavior, forcing laughter and recognition. This mishpocheh now redeems itself with a newfound willingness to tell family stories and loving childhood memories; the palette here modulates from muted tones to bright, sunny colors.

While the amusing scenario may prove to be more a nostalgia trip for adult readers than something today’s kids will immediately recognize, they will appreciate the overall sentiment even if they miss the Yiddish essence. Nu? (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-55498-148-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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HUNGRY! HUNGRY! HUNGRY!

In this moderately effective "jump" story, a lad anxiously questions a distracted-looking, green-skinned goblin as he watches it ransack his house: " 'Why have you got such a big fat bum?' 'Squishing things and squashing things . . .' 'Why have you got such a grumbly tum?' 'Hungry! Hungry! Hungry!' ” The arced lines of text are printed in dialogue balloons, and Hess views the domestic destruction from canted or rolling perspectives in which food, garbage, shampoo, and small toys fly as the goblin shambles along in a cloud of spattered paint or ink. At last the interloper winds up in the lad's bedroom: " ‘What have you come for?' 'YOU!' ” But, as lifting the concluding gatefold reveals, the goblin will accept a jelly bean instead. "A Dark, Dark Room" it's not, but read aloud with the proper gusto it should elicit a few belly laughs, as well as a mild climactic jolt, and the art is unusually fascinating. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-56145-214-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

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