SEA MAIDENS OF JAPAN

Two newcomers immerse readers in the centuries-old tradition of the Japanese ama, divers (usually women) who plunge to the ocean floor to retrieve shellfish, seaweed, and fish. Kiyomi, training to become an ama, is taken by her mother one night to see the sea turtles come in to lay their eggs. Two months later, Kiyomi witnesses the birth of a turtle with a star marking on its back. When the time comes for Kiyomi to make her first dive, fear overtakes her, and she can't force herself into the murky waters. The reappearance of the star-marked turtle gives Kiyomi courage to dive. Brammer's misty illustrations contribute a dreaminess to this tale that helps make the fairy-tale return of the turtle plausible, while the author's explanation of terms and their pronunciations fill in the gaps for readers unacquainted with Japanese culture and language. A strong adventure about a child's plunge (literally and figuratively) into adult responsibilities. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1997

ISBN: 1-57102-095-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1997

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HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

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WILD, WILD WOLVES

At ``Step 2'' in the useful ``Step into Reading'' series: an admirably clear, well-balanced presentation that centers on wolves' habits and pack structure. Milton also addresses their endangered status, as well as their place in fantasy, folklore, and the popular imagination. Attractive realistic watercolors on almost every page. Top-notch: concise, but remarkably extensive in its coverage. A real bargain. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-91052-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

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