THE PEACEABLE KINGDOM

A curious, rather long fable about three animals (a lion, a leopard, and a wolf) who come out of Edward Hicks's painting of The Peaceable Kingdom in the Brooklyn Museum and cause a stir in the nearby botanical garden. While the animals huddle together, wide-eyed, a seven-year-old observes that ``They're beautiful and they're scared....We have to help them,'' but adults are terrified and the police prepare to shoot. The mayor, the press, and famous professors get into the debate about what to do; no one knows what to make of these creatures, which are evidently not predatory. Finally, after a little boy who has seen the animals in the museum recognizes them, the children from the painting are fetched to take the animals back into it. The truants are ready, but sad; they had thought that surely by now the world, too, would be peaceable. Not yet—but everyone is moved by their tears. An intriguing entrÇe into both the Quaker painter's art and its subject. Olbinski's spare, classically constructed settings harmonize nicely with his renderings of Hicks's figures. Reproduction of the painting and list of Hicks's 18 other variations on it; note. (Picture book. 5-11)

Pub Date: June 28, 1994

ISBN: 0-9638904-0-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1994

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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LAST DAY BLUES

From the Mrs. Hartwell's Classroom Adventures series

One more myth dispelled for all the students who believe that their teachers live in their classrooms. During the last week of school, Mrs. Hartwell and her students reflect on the things they will miss, while also looking forward to the fun that summer will bring. The kids want to cheer up their teacher, whom they imagine will be crying over lesson plans and missing them all summer long. But what gift will cheer her up? Numerous ideas are rejected, until Eddie comes up with the perfect plan. They all cooperate to create a rhyming ode to the school year and their teacher. Love’s renderings of the children are realistic, portraying the diversity of modern-day classrooms, from dress and expression to gender and skin color. She perfectly captures the emotional trauma the students imagine their teachers will go through as they leave for the summer. Her final illustration hysterically shatters that myth, and will have every teacher cheering aloud. What a perfect end to the school year. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-58089-046-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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