RAIN

An evocative depiction of the rain cycle in the African savannah marks Stojic’s debut as writer and illustrator. Each page is filled with color, movement, and an impressionistic view of the African landscape. Brush strokes seem to leap off the page, and the representation of thunder, lightening, heat, and sunshine are visually exciting. Close-up drawings of the lion's large head, the porcupine's spiky bristles, and the zebra’s black and white face contrasted with its pink tongue, fill the pages along with giant lettering. The story begins as the dry season is ending. Each animal reacts to a sensory perception of the coming rainy season and tells another in cumulative style. Animals hear and see and taste and feel the rain. After it comes, they can’t feel and taste and hear it, but they can enjoy the benefits it brings. Then the cycle repeats. Stojic emphasizes action verbs, enlarged within the already oversized text. Water gushes and gurgles; mud is “cool, soft and squelchy.” The large-size text and colorful illustrations make this a good title for read-aloud and its predictive, repetitive text lends itself to group participation and discussion. A delightful title from a talented newcomer. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-517-80085-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2000

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LEAVES

A young bear observing his first autumn is captivated by the leaves as they change color from golden to amber. His exuberance and wonder change to worry and consternation when he is unable to replace the first leaf and those that follow to the bare branches. Instinct overtakes him as he gathers a paw full of leaves, finds and fills a hole and burrows in for the winter. When he awakens the following spring, he observes, to his relief, that the leaves have returned to the branches. Seasonal change and animal behavior are simply and freshly conveyed through a young child’s perspective with single-phrase captions and direct, vibrant watercolor illustrations. Bowed, listless branches echo little bear’s down-turned curved shoulders and eyes as he gives up his battle to replace the fallen leaves. Stein does not tread on ground where others often do in over explaining a complex concept. He understands and honors the young, curious mind and allows readers to share the joy of a discovery in text and illustration. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-399-24636-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2007

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ONE BEAN

PLB 0-8027-8649-9 The simple life cycle of a bean provides a practical and understandable example of scientific observation for budding young naturalists. Starting with a hand shown holding a single bean, readers journey full circle from soaking, planting, and watering, to flowering, harvesting, and eating. Uncluttered three-dimensional artwork complements the short, simple text; each stage of the bean’s transformation from seed to vegetable is shown in large scale, drawn so realistically that the texture of the skin seems to show the strain as the bean gets ready to put down roots. This is an ideal book for classrooms where students can’t resist the temptation to keep “checking” on their bean plants. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-8027-8648-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1998

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