DANCE!

The essence of dance is the movement and the music, both difficult to capture in writing, especially so in a work for young children. Cooper (Henry, not reviewed, etc.) describes all the players and the hard work required to prepare a modern dance piece for performance, from the company dancers entering the rehearsal studio to the curtain going up on opening night. His text adequately describes each step of the complex rehearsal timeline in a spare, often humorous style, although he sometimes gets carried away with flights of fancy that simply don’t work: dancers floating above the piano as symbolic musical notes and the dancers’ shadows taking on a life of their own will leave many children puzzled. Cooper’s watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are in a muted palette, with loose, stylized dancers usually shown in miniature, without faces. He includes extremely tiny, handwritten labels in many of the illustrations that are nearly impossible to read, and several pages have the text set in nonconventional ways (wrapping around in swirls, a circle, or a square), which convey motion but also make the reader work harder. Children who are seriously studying dance might be interested in learning about the professional rehearsal process (which mirrors their own), but this is unlikely to find a wide audience. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-06-029418-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization.

A PLACE FOR PLUTO

If Pluto can’t be a planet—then what is he?

Having been a regular planet for “the better part of forever,” Pluto is understandably knocked out of orbit by his sudden exclusion. With Charon and his four other moons in tow he sets off in search of a new identity. Unfortunately, that only spins him into further gloom, as he doesn’t have a tail like his friend Halley’s comet, is too big to join Ida and the other asteroids, and feels disinclined to try to crash into Earth like meteoroids Gem and Persi. Then, just as he’s about to plunge into a black hole of despair, an encounter with a whole quartet of kindred spheroids led by Eris rocks his world…and a follow-up surprise party thrown by an apologetic Saturn (“Dwarf planet has a nice RING to it”) and the other seven former colleagues literally puts him “over the moon.” Demmer gives all the heavenly bodies big eyes (some, including the feminine Saturn, with long lashes) and, on occasion, short arms along with distinctive identifying colors or markings. Dressing the troublemaking meteoroids in do-rags and sunglasses sounds an off note. Without mentioning that the reclassification is still controversial, Wade closes with a (somewhat) straighter account of Pluto’s current official status and the reasons for it.

Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68446-004-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE FENWAY FOUL-UP

BALLPARK MYSTERIES, #1

From the Ballpark Mysteries series , Vol. 1

A new series for emerging chapter-book readers combines the allure of baseball parks with the challenge of solving a mystery. Mike and Kate have tickets to a Red Sox game and an all-access pass to the park, courtesy of Kate's mom, a sportswriter. The pass comes in handy when it's reported that star player Big D's lucky bat has been stolen, as it allows them to help find the thief. Historical details about Fenway Park, including the secret code found on the manual scoreboard, a look at Wally the mascot and a peek into the gift shop, will keep the young baseball fan reading, even when the actual mystery of the missing bat falls a little flat. Writing mysteries for very young readers is a challenge—the puzzle has to be easy enough to solve while sustaining readers' interest. This slight adventure is more baseball-park travel pamphlet than mystery, a vehicle for providing interesting details about one of the hallowed halls of baseball. Not a homerun, but certainly a double for the young enthusiast. On deck? The Pinstripe Ghost, also out on Feb. 22, 2011. (historical notes) (Mystery. 6-9)

 

 

Pub Date: Feb. 22, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-375-86703-3

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more