COUNT YOUR WAY THROUGH GREECE

Learning to count in Greek is now as easy as one, two, three, in this entry in the Count Your Way series; Haskins and Benson use the numbers one through ten to expound on Greek history and culture. An introductory note explains the history of the Greek alphabet and its influence on contemporary English, then it's on to the digits. Each number is written in Greek and phonetically in English. While some of the subjects relate directly to the number assigned (five, for example, represents the circles that make up the Olympic symbol), others are more arbitrary. One represents Greek Orthodoxy—the only official religion of Greece; six stands for the ``most important'' Greek deities (on whose list?), and ten represents ``ten animals featured in Aesop's fables.'' (Aesop included more.) The structure works well as a means for presenting a smattering of Greek culture, but will be confusing if readers assume the number is intrinsically linked with the subject depicted. Porter's impressionistic illustrations aptly reflect the powdery whites of limed walls and the soothing blues of the Aegean. This book's like a whiff of moussaka: tantalizing, but leaves one craving more. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: July 2, 1996

ISBN: 0-87614-875-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 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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BUBBA, THE COWBOY PRINCE

A FRACTURED TEXAS TALE

A Cinderella parody features the off-the-wall, whang-dang Texas hyperbole of Ketteman (The Year of No More Corn, 1993, etc.) and the insouciance of Warhola, who proves himself only too capable of creating a fairy godcow; that she's so appealingly whimsical makes it easy to accept the classic tale's inversions. The protagonist is Bubba, appropriately downtrodden and overworked by his wicked stepdaddy and loathsome brothers Dwayne and Milton, who spend their days bossing him around. The other half of the happy couple is Miz Lurleen, who owns ``the biggest spread west of the Brazos.'' She craves male companionship to help her work the place, ``and it wouldn't hurt if he was cute as a cow's ear, either.'' There are no surprises in this version except in the hilarious way the premise plays itself out and in Warhola's delightful visual surprises. When Lurleen tracks the bootless Bubba down, ``Dwayne and Milton and their wicked daddy threw chicken fits.'' Bubba and babe, hair as big as a Texas sun, ride off to a life of happy ranching, and readers will be proud to have been along for the courtship. (Picture book/folklore. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-590-25506-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1997

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