A masterpiece.

READ REVIEW

AESOP’S FABLES

Gracing 61 fables from Aesop, or at least in the Aesopian tradition, Pinkney’s watercolors display both masterful draftsmanship and an uncommonly keen eye for natural detail.

In these oversized portraits, every tuft, feather, and whisker on his animals look right and real—as do the hats and scarves that many of them sport, their expressive body language, and the clever or foolish looks on the faces of his human characters. Though some of the morals are moot (“Notoriety is not fame”) or may need explaining to younger readers (“Pride goes before a fall”), the stories themselves are timelessly clear and pithy, retold in formal, but never stiff, prose. Pinkney has added plenty of less familiar episodes to the usual chestnuts, making this not only at least as handsome as Doris Orgel’s The Lion and the Mouse, and Other Aesop’s Fables, illustrated by Bert Kitchen (p. 1361), but far more extensive. Whether Aesop is a complete stranger to them or an old friend, young readers will be enthralled by this eye-opening, and jaw-dropping, achievement.

A masterpiece. (Fables. 5-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2000

ISBN: 1-58717-000-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: SeaStar/North-South

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT

A repressive teacher almost ruins second grade for a prodigy in this amusing, if overwritten, tale. Having shown a fascination with great buildings since constructing a model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa from used diapers at age two, Iggy sinks into boredom after Miss Greer announces, throwing an armload of histories and craft projects into the trash, that architecture will be a taboo subject in her class. Happily, she changes her views when the collapse of a footbridge leaves the picnicking class stranded on an island, whereupon Iggy enlists his mates to build a suspension bridge from string, rulers and fruit roll-ups. Familiar buildings and other structures, made with unusual materials or, on the closing pages, drawn on graph paper, decorate Roberts’s faintly retro cartoon illustrations. They add an audience-broadening element of sophistication—as would Beaty’s decision to cast the text into verse, if it did not result in such lines as “After twelve long days / that passed in a haze / of reading, writing and arithmetic, / Miss Greer took the class / to Blue River Pass / for a hike and an old-fashioned picnic.” Another John Lithgow she is not, nor is Iggy another Remarkable Farkle McBride (2000), but it’s always salutary to see young talent vindicated. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8109-1106-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

DOG HEAVEN

Rylant's debut as a picture book illustrator (not to be confused with her board book debut as a collagist in The Everyday Books, 1993) offers sweet comfort to all who have lost loved ones, pets or otherwise. ``When dogs go to Heaven, they don't need wings because God knows that dogs love running best. He gives them fields. Fields and fields and fields.'' There are geese to bark at, plenty of children, biscuits, and, for those that need them, homes. In page- filling acrylics, small, simply brushed figures float against huge areas of bright colors: pictures infused with simple, doggy joy. At the end, an old man leans on a cane as he walks up a slope toward a small white dog: ``Dogs in Dog Heaven may stay as long as they like. . . .They will be there when old friends show up. They will be there at the door.'' Pure, tender, lyrical without being overearnest, and deeply felt. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-590-41701-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1995

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more