ONE FINE DAY

A RADIO PLAY

Van Steenwyk and Farnsworth (When Abraham Lincoln Talked to the Trees, not reviewed, etc.) take young readers back to that thrilling day of yesteryear—December 17, 1903, to be exact—when Orville Wright first flew the powered aircraft he and his brother Wilbur had so methodically invented. Between voiceovers that explain the event’s significance, the brothers Wright wake up in their rough Kitty Hawk shack, share breakfast and some stiff banter—“Wilbur: Come on now, Orville, admit it. It was fun when we straightened out the air pressure tables and got ’em right. Orville: Yep. Yep, that was fun”—then struggle out into the windy beach to do the deed. Farnsworth’s sepia-toned, impressionistic scenes vividly evoke the setting’s desolation, as well as capture a sense of the era. Though likely to be less fun to perform than Paul Fleischman’s choral scripts, this brief re-creation is easily doable in a classroom, and makes an inventive way to bring a pivotal historical event to life and handy for next year’s centennial. (postscript) (Picture book. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-8028-5234-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2003

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THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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WEATHER

Remarking that ``nothing about the weather is very simple,'' Simon goes on to describe how the sun, atmosphere, earth's rotation, ground cover, altitude, pollution, and other factors influence it; briefly, he also tells how weather balloons gather information. Even for this outstanding author, it's a tough, complex topic, and he's not entirely successful in simplifying it; moreover, the import of the striking uncaptioned color photos here isn't always clear. One passage—``Cumulus clouds sometimes build up into towering masses called cumulus congestus, or swelling cumulus, which may turn into cumulonimbus clouds''—is superimposed on a blue-gray, cloud-covered landscape. But which kind of clouds are these? Another photo, in blue-black and white, shows what might be precipitation in the upper atmosphere, or rain falling on a darkened landscape, or...? Generally competent and certainly attractive, but not Simon's best. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-688-10546-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

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