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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ELIZABETI'S DOLL

Charmed by her new baby brother, Elizabeti decides that she wants a baby of her own; she picks up a smooth rock, names it Eva and washes, feeds, and changes her, and carries her about in her cloth kanga. Hale dresses Elizabeti and her family in modern, brightly patterned clothing that practically glows against the earth-toned, sketchily defined Tanzanian village in which this is set. Although Eva appears a bit too large for Elizabeti to handle as easily as she does, the illustrations reflect the story’s simplicity; accompanied by an attentive hen, Elizabeti follows her indulgent mother about, mimicking each nurturing activity. The object of Elizabeti’s affection may be peculiar, but the love itself is real. Later, she rescues Eva from the fire pit, tenderly cleans her, then cradles the stone until she—Elizabeti—falls asleep. Stuve-Bodeen’s debut is quirky but believable, lightly dusted with cultural detail, and features universal emotions in an unusual setting. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 1-880000-70-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1998

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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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