The Dillons illustrate the familiar verses of Ecclesiastes in the King James version, one spread for every double-edged phrase, e.g., “a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” They have taken inspiration for these gouache, acrylic, watercolor, and ink paintings the great art of the world; the opening image is based on the Book of Kells; among other styles used are Japanese ukiyo-e, Greek red-and-black pottery, kiva painting, medieval woodcuts, Russian icons, and Thai shadow plays. Every one is executed with meticulous precision and great feeling; all are annotated at the end. This is a gift book in the best sense, to be read often; if children don’t respond immediately to its overall formality, they will surely find pages to pore over herein. (Picture book. 9+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-590-47887-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1998

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The ubiquitous Yolen (Sherwood, p. 806, etc.) has previously collaborated with Stemple on three books of nature poems illustrated with photographs. In this latest joint effort, Stemple (Yolen’s son) first takes photographs isolating or emphasizing one color in nature and Yolen then writes poems to coordinate with the photos. Eleven colors are included, with “Crayons: A Rainbow Poem” as the final poem, gracefully melding all the colors into one lyrical homage to the infinite variety of shades in the world of nature, including the wide variety of skin colors in people around us. Each two-page spread includes one poem by Yolen, a featured photo and a related background photo, a list of additional color words in large type integrated into the design, and a fragment of poetry about the particular color from another source, often a Mother Goose rhyme. Yolen has done an excellent job of creating poetry of all sorts, from a few spare and simple lines to some more complex poems, and she has included both rhyming and non-rhyming poems as well as several haiku. Language-arts teachers will welcome this book, as writing poems about colors is a common assignment in fourth through eighth grades, and in an author’s note, Yolen encourages young people to try writing their own color poems using the color word lists and photographs. The standard book of children’s poetry about colors, Hailstones and Halibut Bones, by Mary O’Neill (1961, 1989), is for a slightly younger audience and doesn’t have the advantage of the gorgeous photographs in this book that show nature’s true colors in all their glory. A multicolored gem for the poetry shelves in most school and public libraries. (Poetry. 9-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2000

ISBN: 1-56397-892-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2000

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Hannah remains too superficial to ever be engaging.


From the Hannah Smart series , Vol. 3

Back for a third outing is 14-year-old Hannah, the breezy white star of her own local television show, this time bound for a treasure hunt that will be filmed for a new on-air project.

The good news is that the treasure hunt will be conducted from the lavish decks of Piper’s father’s yacht. The bad news is myriad: pretty-girl Piper is conniving, competitive, and deceitful; her father, a study in hyperbole, is remarkably controlling and nasty; Hannah’s wished-for love interest is along but seems focused on Piper; and Hannah is very prone to seasickness. Piper does whatever she can to undermine the mostly easygoing Hannah, right up to giving her a powerful sedative tablet that she represents as a seasickness remedy. Hannah is just trying to do a good job while feeling daunted by Piper’s many supposed talents. Stock, white-by-default characters are flat and predictable. Although Piper’s over-the-top machinations and the undersea treasure hunt make waves, Hannah’s blandly effervescent voice contributes little. When Piper publicly owns up to the error of her ways at the conclusion then swiftly finds common ground with her helicopter dad, it presents a somewhat unconvincing (and a bit preachy) feel-good ending. The cover art has little to do with the storyline, but it offers the most humorous aspect of this average tale.

Hannah remains too superficial to ever be engaging. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4597-3160-8

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Dundurn

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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