BONJOUR, LONNIE

Lush, deeply imagined paintings can't quite carry the didactic storyline in this tale from the creator of My Dream of Martin Luther King (1995). Lonnie, an orphaned African-American boy with the red hair and green eyes of his mixed heritage, is transported back to Paris during the first world war by l'Oiseau d'Amour—the Love Bird. This magical creature shows him how his grandfather of the 369th infantry, the ``Harlem Hell Fighters,'' met his red-haired French grandmother; and how their son, Lonnie's father, died in WW II. Claudine, his green-eyed, Jewish mother, was lost to the Nazis and Lonnie was smuggled away. The spirits of his ancestors—with connections to the Harlem Renaissance, the black Parisian community, and the French Resistance, among others—fade away, leaving Lonnie no longer orphaned but with loving stepparents (first met in Ringgold's Dinner at Aunt Connie's House, 1993). Ringgold's acrylic paintings will tug at anyone who has seen—or wants to see—Paris; their intense colors, stylized figures, and beautiful use of pattern draw the viewers in again and again. The complicated, though well-intentioned, story, with its layers of history and magical realism, may elude younger readers and leave older ones confused. (glossary, bibliography) (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-7868-0076-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1996

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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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WILD, WILD WOLVES

At ``Step 2'' in the useful ``Step into Reading'' series: an admirably clear, well-balanced presentation that centers on wolves' habits and pack structure. Milton also addresses their endangered status, as well as their place in fantasy, folklore, and the popular imagination. Attractive realistic watercolors on almost every page. Top-notch: concise, but remarkably extensive in its coverage. A real bargain. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-91052-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

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