THE CAT COLLECTION

This is indeed a collection, of quotations and cats, the latter of whom Delessert has clearly loved and studied. In his signature style, the bevy of beasts are presented close-up, dramatically placed; they are occasionally idealized to a few basic geometries or delineated to a glossy, hyper-real finish. Each page of text faces a cat, or now and then, shares a page with one. The variety of authors behind the very short quotations ranges widely, from Christopher Smart to Pablo Neruda, from Jean de La Fontaine to Ogden Nash. The cats portrayed usually have names, too: from the Egyptian cat goddess, Bast, to Snarf, a cat of the artist’s; from StÇphane MallarmÇ’s Snow, to Puss-in-boots. Children will find the epigrams intriguing, as in Annette Wynne’s “The house cat sits/And smiles and sings./He knows a lot/Of secret things.” The images are mysterious but accessible, unsettling and endearing—just like most cats. (Anthology. 7-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1999

ISBN: 1-56846-160-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1999

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THE COLORS OF US

This vibrant, thoughtful book from Katz (Over the Moon, 1997) continues her tribute to her adopted daughter, Lena, born in Guatemala. Lena is “seven. I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up”; she learns during a painting lesson that to get the color brown, she will have to “mix red, yellow, black, and white paints.” They go for a walk to observe the many shades of brown: they see Sonia, who is the color of creamy peanut butter; Isabella, who is chocolate brown; Lucy, both peachy and tan; Jo-Jin, the color of honey; Kyle, “like leaves in fall”; Mr. Pellegrino, the color of pizza crust, golden brown. Lena realizes that every shade is beautiful, then mixes her paints accordingly for portraits of her friends—“The colors of us!” Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child’s open-hearted sensibility and a mother’s love. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5864-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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LAUGH-ETERIA

Florian’s seventh collection of verse is also his most uneven; though the flair for clever rhyme that consistently lights up his other books, beginning with Monster Motel (1993), occasionally shows itself—“Hello, my name is Dracula/My clothing is all blackula./I drive a Cadillacula./I am a maniacula”—too many of the entries are routine limericks, putdowns, character portraits, rhymed lists that fall flat on the ear, or quick quips: “It’s hard to be anonymous/When you’re a hippopotamus.” Florian’s language and simple, thick-lined cartoons illustrations are equally ingenuous, and he sticks to tried-and-true subjects, from dinosaurs to school lunch, but the well of inspiration seems dry; revisit his hilarious Bing Bang Boing (1994) instead. (index) (Poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202084-5

Page Count: 158

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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