YOU HOLD ME AND I'LL HOLD YOU

A little girl describes events following the death of an aunt. She's procrastinating about cleaning her room when she overhears Dad on the phone: ``I'm so sorry to hear it.'' Remembering just those words in connection with her mother moving away, she wonders ``how sorry I'm going to have to get.'' Now, Grandpa's sister has died; Dad, the narrator, and her sister Helen go to Tennessee for the memorial service. It's a sad time- -everybody cries—yet the pain is easier to bear because it's shared, and Dad knows that it's ``good to be held, and...good to be holding too.'' With unusual sensitivity, poet Carson (Stories I Ain't Told Nobody Yet, 1989) captures the child's point of view, linking previous experiences (she once ``preached'' at services for a hamster) to the present with lyrical ease and characterizing this wholesome family with telling details (Dad is gentle but firm: the room must be tidied even after the bad news). Using close-ups as intimate as hugs, Cannon generalizes people's faces while delineating warmly empathetic smiles and solid, dependably comforting bodies. Without preaching or false sentiment, a realistic, consoling picture of good people grieving after the death of a loved one. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-531-05895-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1992

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions.

HOME

Ellis, known for her illustrations for Colin Meloy’s Wildwood series, here riffs on the concept of “home.”

Shifting among homes mundane and speculative, contemporary and not, Ellis begins and ends with views of her own home and a peek into her studio. She highlights palaces and mansions, but she also takes readers to animal homes and a certain famously folkloric shoe (whose iconic Old Woman manages a passel of multiethnic kids absorbed in daring games). One spread showcases “some folks” who “live on the road”; a band unloads its tour bus in front of a theater marquee. Ellis’ compelling ink and gouache paintings, in a palette of blue-grays, sepia and brick red, depict scenes ranging from mythical, underwater Atlantis to a distant moonscape. Another spread, depicting a garden and large building under connected, transparent domes, invites readers to wonder: “Who in the world lives here? / And why?” (Earth is seen as a distant blue marble.) Some of Ellis’ chosen depictions, oddly juxtaposed and stripped of any historical or cultural context due to the stylized design and spare text, become stereotypical. “Some homes are boats. / Some homes are wigwams.” A sailing ship’s crew seems poised to land near a trio of men clad in breechcloths—otherwise unidentified and unremarked upon.

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6529-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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