WILLOW

In dictatorial Miss Hawthorn’s cheerless art room, students sit “in their rows, silent and still, like eggs in a carton” producing cookie-cutter busywork. “Everyone except Willow.” Miss Hawthorn does not appreciate Willow’s sweet nature or her inventive, colorful outlook on life. Willow is always in trouble with her wizened teacher, especially “for not painting things the way Miss Hawthorn wanted her to.” When she tries to share her artistic excitement via a well-loved art book full of flamingo-pink trees, blue apples and other works of wonder, Miss Hawthorn rebuffs her. “Horrid little girl.” But stony Miss Hawthorn is transformed by a holiday gift—the only one she receives—of that treasured art book, and when her students return after the holidays, they find a very different teacher, indeed. Motivational speaker Brennan-Nelson’s message hits its mark, and Moore’s energetic watercolors fairly vibrate—Willow would approve! Pair this with Peter Reynolds’s The Dot (2003) and Paul Zelinsky’s Doodler Doodling (2004) for an outside-the-lines art experience. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-58536-342-1

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2008

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ELIZABETI'S DOLL

Charmed by her new baby brother, Elizabeti decides that she wants a baby of her own; she picks up a smooth rock, names it Eva and washes, feeds, and changes her, and carries her about in her cloth kanga. Hale dresses Elizabeti and her family in modern, brightly patterned clothing that practically glows against the earth-toned, sketchily defined Tanzanian village in which this is set. Although Eva appears a bit too large for Elizabeti to handle as easily as she does, the illustrations reflect the story’s simplicity; accompanied by an attentive hen, Elizabeti follows her indulgent mother about, mimicking each nurturing activity. The object of Elizabeti’s affection may be peculiar, but the love itself is real. Later, she rescues Eva from the fire pit, tenderly cleans her, then cradles the stone until she—Elizabeti—falls asleep. Stuve-Bodeen’s debut is quirky but believable, lightly dusted with cultural detail, and features universal emotions in an unusual setting. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 1-880000-70-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1998

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WILD, WILD WOLVES

At ``Step 2'' in the useful ``Step into Reading'' series: an admirably clear, well-balanced presentation that centers on wolves' habits and pack structure. Milton also addresses their endangered status, as well as their place in fantasy, folklore, and the popular imagination. Attractive realistic watercolors on almost every page. Top-notch: concise, but remarkably extensive in its coverage. A real bargain. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-91052-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

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