With an imaginative, innovative use of traditional elements of Chinese art recalling Young's Lon Po Po (1990 Caldecott Medal), another spellbinding Chinese tale. Wei Gu, an orphan, longs for a wife. Seeking a matchmaker, he encounters an old man from the spirit world who predicts that he will marry, in 14 years, a child who is now only three years old; the spirit shows Wei a red thread that already links them and will surely draw them together. At first overjoyed, the haughty Wei is dismayed when his bride is pointed out in the marketplace, carried by a poor blind woman; furious, he sends his servant to kill the child. Years later, happily married, he questions his well-born wife about the ornament she wears and learns that it covers the scar his servant made. But in this generous tale, Wei's youthful pride and indiscretion are forgiven: ``After this day the couple grew even closer,'' ending their days in honor and wealth. Setting his unobtrusive blocks of text below a single ruled red ``thread'' crossing the full-bleed spreads, Young dapples his pages with delectable clouds of pastels and watercolors, delicately defining forms with lines of soft blue or gray and a gentle red that echoes the title motif. In exquisitely designed compositions, he plays architecture's precision against crowds of tiny impressionistic figures, uses dynamic perspectives and brilliant colors to focus on a dramatic portrait, or frames the couple, in their moment of revelation, in a mellow haze subtly etched with the lines of their home. Another splendid achievement for this fine artist. (No source given, but LC classes this in 398.21.) (Folklore/Picture book. 4+)

Pub Date: March 24, 1993

ISBN: 0-399-21969-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


Like the quiet lap of waves on the sand, the alternating introspections of two Bahamian island children in 1492. Morning Girl and her brother Star Boy are very different: she loves the hush of pre-dawn while he revels in night skies, noise, wind. In many ways they are antagonists, each too young and subjective to understand the other's perspective—in contrast to their mother's appreciation for her brother. In the course of these taut chapters concerning such pivotal events as their mother's losing a child, the arrival of a hurricane, or Star Boy's earning the right to his adult name, they grow closer. In the last, Morning Girl greets— with cordial innocence—a boat full of visitors, unaware that her beautifully balanced and textured life is about to be catalogued as ``very poor in everything,'' her island conquered by Europeans. This paradise is so intensely and believably imagined that the epilogue, quoted from Columbus's diary, sickens with its ominous significance. Subtly, Dorris draws parallels between the timeless chafings of sibs set on changing each other's temperaments and the intrusions of states questing new territory. Saddening, compelling—a novel to be cherished for its compassion and humanity. (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 1992

ISBN: 1-56282-284-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...


With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet