A SIGN by George Ella Lyon


Age Range: 5 - 9


 Lyon (Counting on the Woods, p. 115, etc.) writes of all the things she wanted to do or to be when she was a child, attempting to bring those youthful ambitions together to account for the career she ultimately chose. The miraculous colors and curves of neon signs, the old- fashioned thrill of tightrope-walking, and the modern marvel of space exploration are all part of Lyon's childhood dreams: to make the signs, walk the line, and ride a rocket to the moon. Soentpiet's illustrations of young George Ella are laden with nostalgic scenes from America 40 years ago. The setting leaps precipitously forward to an illustration that is startling in its frank modernity after the more tender evocations of the past: Lyon in the present, staring out at readers from her computer, where she tries ``to make words glow,'' to ``put one word in front of the other,'' and ``hope the story won't fall,'' etc. These comparisons between the art of writing and those long-ago wishes may be patently linked for her, but are more tenuous for readers. Those who love Lyon's books will have a too-brief glimpse of her childhood; those seeking a lesson about finding one's purpose will find that and nothing more. (Picture book/memoir. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-531-30073-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1998


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