RISE THE MOON

A benevolent, beaming moon casts its golden glow across the pages, but questionable choices by both author and illustrator relegate this rather esoteric effort to the lesser designation of lovely mood piece. Readers are drawn along by the pull of a personified moon to observe its impact on creatures of earth, air, and sea, and on their creative forces and flows. Colón’s (Pandora, 2002, etc.) signature scratched-wash artwork is luminous, with light reflected and refracted through windows, wind-stirred waters, and wild environs. Each panel is a veritable homage of orbs, the moon motif repeated in fruit, flower, food, and face. Yes, the pictures are very pretty. But why, for example, when his endpapers display the phases of the moon (as seen from the southern hemisphere) does Colón ignore this immutable pattern, depicting a waxing crescent moon and a full moon in what purports to be the same night sky? And why, for example, when the use of its true name, “luna moth,” would be appropriate, just as evocative, and even more elegant, does Spinelli (Wanda’s Monster, 2002, etc.) self-consciously refer to this creature as a “lunar moth?” Perhaps this surrealistic lullaby will be sweetly soporific to some, but its forced rhythms and oblique verbal and visual metaphors are more likely just to leave readers yawning. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-8037-2601-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2003

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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TO MARKET, TO MARKET

A marketing trip from Miranda (Glad Monster, Sad Monster, p. 1309) that jiggity jigs off in time-honored nursery-rhyme fashion, but almost immediately derails into well-charted chaos. The foodstuffs—the fat pig, the red hen, the plump goose, the pea pods, peppers, garlic, and spice—are wholly reasonable in light of the author's mention of shopping at traditional Spanish mercados, which stock live animals and vegetables. Stevens transfers the action to a standard American supermarket and a standard American kitchen, bringing hilarity to scenes that combine acrylics, oil pastels, and colored pencil with photo and fabric collage elements. The result is increasing frazzlement for the shopper, an older woman wearing spectacles, hat, and purple pumps (one of which is consumed by her groceries). It's back to market one last time for ingredients for the hot vegetable soup she prepares for the whole bunch. True, her kitchen's trashed and she probably won't find a welcome mat at her supermarket hereafter, but all's well that ends well—at least while the soup's on. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-200035-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1997

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