PANORAMA

A FOLDOUT BOOK

A sparely beautiful tour of the world. A line of text along the bottom edge of each accordion-fold page places young readers precisely: “In the great desert, look how the sun is so white, the shadows so black. Feel how the sand burns so hot.” The muscular black-and-white line traces the dunes, a camel train, a scorpion. “Adrar Desert, Sahara, Mauritania,” says the tag line. Each page blends into the next, moving readers around the world, past Highland cattle grazing by Loch Ness in Scotland; the Turkish coast, where scents are almost visible in the stark black-and-white air; a field of butterflies in Romania; snow falling over the Dolomites in Italy. Then the folds reverse, and readers view those scenes at night, without text: The Galápagos tortoise sleeps in its shell; a wolf howls by an Alaskan waterfall.The dramatic visuals are both easy to comprehend and repay close attention, as details emerge and the exotic locales become familiar. Watch for children stretching out the whole across a floor, and eagerly turning it over to see the dreams in the world at night. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-8109-8332-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2009

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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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JOHNNY APPLESEED

Though she never says outright that he was a real person, Kurtz introduces newly emergent readers to the historical John Chapman, walking along the Ohio, planting apple seeds, and bartering seedlings to settlers for food and clothing. Haverfield supplies the legendary portions of his tale, with views of a smiling, stylishly ragged, clean-shaven young man, pot on head, wildlife on shoulder or trailing along behind. Kurtz caps her short, rhythmic text with an invitation to “Clap your hands for Johnny Chapman. / Clap your hands for Johnny Appleseed!” An appealing way to open discussions of our country’s historical or legendary past. (Easy reader/nonfiction. 5-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-85958-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

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