LOVEY AND DOVEY

A winsome prison fable from the Netherlands. Lovey and Dovey, she plump, he thin as a rail, both clad in prison stripes, have “stolen each other’s hearts”—but that’s not why they languish in Katakom: They also stole a pair of blue socks, which they now wear, Lovey on her right foot, Dovey on his left. When Lovey complains about the view, Dovey squeezes through the bars, tears a square of “sun and sea” from the landscape and takes it back to their cell to hang on the wall. This is followed by the moon, an apple tree and so on. A wordless subplot depicts a rabbit artist who follows Dovey, painting in his own designs on the blank silhouettes left behind by Dovey’s thefts. Van Hout places her endearing convicts, rendered as line-and-color cartoons, against soft-edged backgrounds, the harsh gray of the cell modulating to bright pastels as the outside is brought in, piece by piece. “But one day, disaster struck: they were released.” The resolution may well bring pause to adults, but children will respond to its daffy logic and celebrate along with the lovers. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 25, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-59078-660-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lemniscaat/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2009

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HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

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NOT A BOX

Dedicated “to children everywhere sitting in cardboard boxes,” this elemental debut depicts a bunny with big, looping ears demonstrating to a rather thick, unseen questioner (“Are you still standing around in that box?”) that what might look like an ordinary carton is actually a race car, a mountain, a burning building, a spaceship or anything else the imagination might dream up. Portis pairs each question and increasingly emphatic response with a playscape of Crockett Johnson–style simplicity, digitally drawn with single red and black lines against generally pale color fields. Appropriately bound in brown paper, this makes its profound point more directly than such like-themed tales as Marisabina Russo’s Big Brown Box (2000) or Dana Kessimakis Smith’s Brave Spaceboy (2005). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-112322-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2006

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