I SPY A FREIGHT TRAIN

Who has not played, as children and with children, the game of ``I spy?'' Micklethwait (I Spy a Lion, 1994, etc.) once again turns that game into an enthralling search into the heart of paintings. Her method is simple: On one page appears text, e.g., ``I spy/with my little eye/a car,'' while on the facing page is a reproduction of a painting in which onlookers must find that vehicle. The striking and unusual paintings she chooses are not usually about moving from ``here'' to ``there,'' except in the most metaphysical sense. Sometimes, as in Mel Ramos's Batmobile, the mode of transportation is obvious; in other pictures, like the rowboat in Kandinsky's Birds or the bicycle in Thiebaud's Down Eighteenth Street, it takes time to find them. A mirage-like rendering of a camel in Dali's La Table Solaire and a lapidary elephant in an Indian miniature remind readers that transportation, like art, comes in many forms. Included is a list of paintings with artists, dates, and current location noted. Like the others in Micklethwait's I Spy series, this is a book of myriad charms that engages readers on multiple levels; it's a refreshing change from Where's Waldo? and other titles of that ilk. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-688-14700-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1996

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT

A repressive teacher almost ruins second grade for a prodigy in this amusing, if overwritten, tale. Having shown a fascination with great buildings since constructing a model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa from used diapers at age two, Iggy sinks into boredom after Miss Greer announces, throwing an armload of histories and craft projects into the trash, that architecture will be a taboo subject in her class. Happily, she changes her views when the collapse of a footbridge leaves the picnicking class stranded on an island, whereupon Iggy enlists his mates to build a suspension bridge from string, rulers and fruit roll-ups. Familiar buildings and other structures, made with unusual materials or, on the closing pages, drawn on graph paper, decorate Roberts’s faintly retro cartoon illustrations. They add an audience-broadening element of sophistication—as would Beaty’s decision to cast the text into verse, if it did not result in such lines as “After twelve long days / that passed in a haze / of reading, writing and arithmetic, / Miss Greer took the class / to Blue River Pass / for a hike and an old-fashioned picnic.” Another John Lithgow she is not, nor is Iggy another Remarkable Farkle McBride (2000), but it’s always salutary to see young talent vindicated. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8109-1106-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2007

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