PARK BEAT by Jonathan London

PARK BEAT

Rhymin’ Through the Seasons
Age Range: 2 - 5
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KIRKUS REVIEW

London and Hubbard (Hip Cat, 1993) team up again, this time for a dubious celebration of a park through the seasons. London seems to be aiming at “swingin’” with his pairings of participles that go nowhere, all missing the terminal “g”—“Dogs yappin’ and geese flappin’, / Fish jumpin’ and apples thumpin’, / squirrels blatherin’ and nut-gatherin’ …”—but achieves only a rigid clingin’ to an organizing rhythmic principle that quickly grows old. There is undeniable energy to the piece, but the text, presumably a child’s first-person, delighted observations of the changing seasons, does not rise above doggerel. The bright, cheery illustrations are stronger than the text, as a multicultural cast of characters frolic through the year. The perspective is flat, Grandma Moses–like, offering lots of detail for children to pore over (though some may be taken aback by the horse swimming in the pond in spring). Hubbard chooses not to illustrate one single narrator, instead zooming in on different children at the cap of each seasonal segment, a device that, while inclusive, is somewhat unsettling. There are many better books that take readers on seasonal adventures; this one, alas, is not much more than cloyin’ and annoyin’. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 31st, 2001
ISBN: 0-688-13994-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2001




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