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OUTSIDE by Deirdre Gill Kirkus Star


by Deirdre Gill ; illustrated by Deirdre Gill

Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-547-91065-9
Publisher: HMH Books

A little boy’s imagination creates a beautiful, mysterious, snowy world outside his home.

Expressive oils on paper are equally adept at showing the snow’s softness and a little boy’s changing moods. The wraparound cover art immediately draws readers in, and the quotation from Yeats opposite the dedication sets the tone: “The world is full of magic things, / patiently waiting / for our senses to grow sharper.” The first double-page spread shows an isolated, wooden house in steadily falling snow with these words: “Outside, snow falls silently on the house.” The next two pages illustrate the sentence, “Inside, a boy has nothing to do.” When the boy goes outside, his mood begins to lift, despite his disappointment at an older brother’s refusal to join him. By the end of the boy’s time outside, an enchanting, magical world of castles and snow creatures has elevated his spirits—and will have a similar effect on readers. The palette moves through the colors of a perfect winter’s day in New England, from the blue-grays of falling snow to the golden-pink tones of sunset—ideal colors for the boy’s dragon ride—to the deeper blues of approaching evening. The double-page spread that introduces the dragon is especially enthralling.

Readers will want to reread the simple but meaningful text and bask again in the glorious illustrations of this splendid debut.

(Picture book. 3-8)