RIVER

In a series of folk-art paintings, Atwell (Barn, 1996) charts an American river’s decline from unspoiled to trash-strewn, then its recovery due to the efforts of concerned people. Although readers may be thrown by the brief text’s vagueness (“They changed the warehouses. They tore down some of the factories. They planted trees. They wanted to share”), the message comes through clearly in the striking riverine scenes, as bright skies and blue waters change to lowering clouds and gray dinginess, then back to idealized views of grassy approaches and families at play. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-395-93546-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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CAT AND MOUSE IN THE SNOW

In this picture book adventure of a now-familiar duo (Cat and Mouse and Something to Do, 1998, etc.), Bogacki describes how the curious cat and the curious mouse explore the green meadow turned white with snow. The two friends climb up the hill, then slide down, down, down. Meanwhile the other mice and cats wake up and go outside to find their siblings. They come upon the two friends covered in white snow and mistake them for monsters. Shrieks turn to delight, and everyone has a great time playing in the snow. When night comes they return to their respective homes to dream of snow. The soft chalk illustrations in grey, tan, and white on blue paper show flat stylized animals in a snowy world. Children will enjoy the brief repetitive text; adults will be glad to have an appealing alternative to Ezra Jack Keats’s The Snowy Day. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 1999

ISBN: 0-374-31192-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

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SECTOR 7

From levitating frogs to giant vegetables that take wing, Wiesner resuscitates his fondness for flying in another stretch of his imagination. In a wordless story told through picture panels and murals, a young boy is overtaken by fog on a class field trip to the top of the Empire State Building. He befriends a snowmanlike cloud who dons the boy’s red cap and scarf and wings him to an ominous factory in the sky. Dubbed Sector 7, this imposing, industrial hunk of machinery is a Grand Central Station for clouds, from which they’re all dispatched. The boy learns that clouds can freely take on various shapes, and soon has them twisting and stretching themselves into fish, to the dismay of the grim, uniformed workers. In a showy display, the clouds invade Manhattan, surprising cats at windows and children below. Wiesner’s fans will rediscover all his favorite motifs—dreams overlapping reality, metamorphosing creatures, and more—rendered in precise watercolors with tilted perspectives. Others will find themselves scratching their heads as to his purpose, other than indulging in elliptical displays and in pointlessly defying convention. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-395-74656-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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