CHIPMUNK SONG by Joanne Ryder
Kirkus Star


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Attempts to integrate poetry and artwork in picture-book form have had limited success; the poetry is too often chopped up, the artwork ungrounded. But here, author and artist have overcome these problems; their collaboration is effective, understated, funny, and quite beautiful. The text addresses the reader in the second person, reciting a cycle of activity for the humble chipmunk. ""So you run--/dashing quickly/stopping here/stopping there/looking for food/watching for danger."" The truncated lines and simple phrases mirror the single-minded activities of the chipmunk, who is drawn with astonishing particularity, without anthropomorphism. The joy of the book comes in the artist's addition of a child who lives the life of a chipmunk--running, sleeping underground, cleaning, eating, appealing to a small child's natural fascination with size. Cherry's technical facility for nature drawing is enhanced by a subtle sense of color; she does not stint on nature's palette, but she doesn't render it in Madison Avenue glowtones either. She's just the right artist to capture the meaning in a book about animals which suggests how we might imagine ourselves in their place.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Lodestar/Dutton