BEHIND THE MUSEUM DOOR

POEMS TO CELEBRATE THE WONDERS OF MUSEUMS

Hopkins selects 14 child-appealing poems centered on the allure of museums and their treasures. Most poems speculate about precious artifacts of the past, as in “Suit of Armor,” by Beverly McLoughland and “The Moccasins,” by Kristine O’Connell George. Others, such as Hopkins’s titular poem and the apt closer, “Museum Farewell,” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, focus on the experience of the museum as trove, itself precious and tinged with mystery. Dressen-McQueen’s full-bleed, mixed-media treatments are uneven. Winning portrayals of wriggling, dancing multicultural children against pleasing color fields contrast with spreads in which pastiches of artifacts appear crowded and muddy. A delightful poem by Alice Schertle, “O Trilobite,” garners an intriguing treatment: Trilobites of varying sizes array colorfully against the blue-black of the deep sea. The illustration for “Journey of the Woolly Mammoth” seems stylistically unrelated to others, looking more like a sketch than a finished piece. Still, the poems are well chosen, the little field-trippers sweet and the topic rather thinly covered in the literature. Buy where needed. (Picture book/poetry. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8109-1204-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2007

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ALL THE COLORS OF THE EARTH

This heavily earnest celebration of multi-ethnicity combines full-bleed paintings of smiling children, viewed through a golden haze dancing, playing, planting seedlings, and the like, with a hyperbolic, disconnected text—``Dark as leopard spots, light as sand,/Children buzz with laughter that kisses our land...''— printed in wavy lines. Literal-minded readers may have trouble with the author's premise, that ``Children come in all the colors of the earth and sky and sea'' (green? blue?), and most of the children here, though of diverse and mixed racial ancestry, wear shorts and T-shirts and seem to be about the same age. Hamanaka has chosen a worthy theme, but she develops it without the humor or imagination that animates her Screen of Frogs (1993). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-688-11131-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1994

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DINOSAURS GALORE!

A dozen familiar dinosaurs introduce themselves in verse in this uninspired, if colorful, new animal gallery from the authors of Commotion in the Ocean (2000). Smiling, usually toothily, and sporting an array of diamonds, lightning bolts, spikes and tiger stripes, the garishly colored dinosaurs make an eye-catching show, but their comments seldom measure up to their appearance: “I’m a swimming reptile, / I dive down in the sea. / And when I spot a yummy squid, / I eat it up with glee!” (“Ichthyosaurus”) Next to the likes of Kevin Crotty’s Dinosongs (2000), illustrated by Kurt Vargo, or Jack Prelutsky’s classic Tyrannosaurus Was A Beast (1988), illustrated by Arnold Lobel, there’s not much here to roar about. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-58925-044-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2005

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