An air of magical realism hangs about this childhood fantasy strongly echoed in Colón’s combed, golden-toned winter scenes. The footprints that young Nathan leaves in newly poured concrete behind his house look in frosty moonlight as if they might have been left by a snowman. A snowman such as the one Nathan spies from his bedroom window, moving from roof to fence top, wandering down the alleys between houses, gazing wistfully at the moon, singing quiet duets with the wind. Soon Nathan is down in the alley too, in bathrobe and slippers, sharing cookies and dreams with his new friend, dubbed “Sky.” Seeing Sky’s loneliness, Nathan builds a snowwoman, then watches as the two share dances and laughter, and finally fly off together northward, following the cold weather. Glowing greenly beneath the winter moon, Nathan’s carrot-nosed companion, clad in boots, fedora, and long, trailing scarf, seems at once mysterious, and as solidly real as the briefly animated visitor in Raymond Briggs’s Snowman (1978). Pittman (Angel Tree, 1998) gives her young narrator a matter-of-fact tone that enhances the episode’s poignancy. Readers will wish they too lived along that alley. (Picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-8037-2170-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2000

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McDonald’s irrepressible third-grader (Judy Moody Gets Famous, 2001, etc.) takes a few false steps before hitting full stride. This time, not only has her genius little brother Stink submitted a competing entry in the Crazy Strips Band-Aid design contest, but in the wake of her science teacher’s heads-up about rainforest destruction and endangered animals, she sees every member of her family using rainforest products. It’s all more than enough to put her in a Mood, which gets her in trouble at home for letting Stink’s pet toad, Toady, go free, and at school for surreptitiously collecting all the pencils (made from rainforest cedar) in class. And to top it off, Stink’s Crazy Strips entry wins a prize, while she gets . . . a certificate. Chronicled amusingly in Reynolds’s frequent ink-and-tea drawings, Judy goes from pillar to post—but she justifies the pencil caper convincingly enough to spark a bottle drive that nets her and her classmates not only a hundred seedling trees for Costa Rica, but the coveted school Giraffe Award (given to those who stick their necks out), along with T-shirts and ice cream coupons. Judy’s growing corps of fans will crow “Rare!” right along with her. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-7636-1446-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002

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For shark fanciers, a look at a Los Angeles Natural History Museum exhibit, Sharks: Fact and Fantasy. Now touring the country, it includes models of large and small sharks, many of them swimming in simulated undersea settings. The text follows a group of young museum-goers as they examine shark teeth, fossil sharks, sharks in art, and a living shark embryo; shark anatomy, special adaptations, types of sharks, and some shark facts are also included. Photos are clear, colorful and engaging. Not comprehensive, but an attractive added purchase. Pronunciation guide; additional reading; index. (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 1991

ISBN: 0-395-57560-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1991

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