ONE LEAF RIDES THE WIND by Celeste Davidson Mannis
Kirkus Star

ONE LEAF RIDES THE WIND

Counting in a Japanese Garden
Age Range: 4 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

In her picture book debut, Mannis uses the underlying structure of a little girl in a Japanese garden as the theme for a lyrical counting book with arresting illustrations by Hartung (One Dark Night, 2001, etc.). The author uses haiku as her format to count elements of the garden: one leaf, two carved temple dogs, three bonsai trees, and so on, up to ten lanterns lighting the way into the garden at twilight. The final double-page spread shows all the previously counted items integrated into the idyllic garden, with the little girl catching the leaf that eluded her grasp on the first page. The thoughtful design includes a full-page illustration on the left-hand pages, the appropriate numeral and the haiku in large type on the right-hand pages, and a related textual note in smaller type at the bottom of the page. This format imparts additional information about Japanese gardens and culture without intruding on the effectiveness of the haiku. Hartung’s delicate illustrations with varying perspectives effectively complement the haiku and add touches of visual humor throughout. Just as each element of a Japanese garden contributes to a calming, satisfying whole, the elements of this work—poetry, subtly integrated additional text, illustration, design, and even the endpapers—all meld together into a lovely whole that both entertains as successful poetry and educates as an introduction to several aspects of ancient Japanese culture. Teachers in elementary school classrooms will find this volume useful when studying Japan or the haiku format. (author’s note) (Picture book/poetry. 4-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-670-03525-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2002




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