THE NIGHT OF THE WHIPPOORWILL

A stellar addition to Larrick's many themed anthologies, with powerful illustrations that plunge the reader/listener into a mysterious, moon-washed world. The 34 poems, mostly from this century, come from such authors as de la Mare, Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Jarrell, McCord, Merriam, and Yolen, plus a few Native American and other traditional sources; they are artfully sequenced from a first poem about the deepening dark to a last two telling of the dawn; between are the moon, the Milky Way, nocturnal animals, and night in the city and on water, in wind and in storm. Ray's soft, dark acrylics, swirling with cloud, stardust, and mist, are extraordinarily sensitive to the texts. Some of his subtle touches are lovely: the moon seen through a moth's gossamer wings, stars mirrored in a stream, a stained-glass window reflected on a wet sidewalk. The text is effectively superimposed on blowing curtain, snowfield, fogbank, or cloud. Perfect, save for a flaw in the opening sequence when the moon rises where the sun has just set- -which is a pleasant visual conceit (also to be observed in Wiesner's Tuesday, 1991) but an astronomical impossibility. For an older audience than that of Larrick's When the Dark Comes Dancing (1983); a must. Fully indexed. (Poetry/Picture book. 7+)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 1992

ISBN: 0-399-21874-2

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MORNING GIRL

Like the quiet lap of waves on the sand, the alternating introspections of two Bahamian island children in 1492. Morning Girl and her brother Star Boy are very different: she loves the hush of pre-dawn while he revels in night skies, noise, wind. In many ways they are antagonists, each too young and subjective to understand the other's perspective—in contrast to their mother's appreciation for her brother. In the course of these taut chapters concerning such pivotal events as their mother's losing a child, the arrival of a hurricane, or Star Boy's earning the right to his adult name, they grow closer. In the last, Morning Girl greets— with cordial innocence—a boat full of visitors, unaware that her beautifully balanced and textured life is about to be catalogued as ``very poor in everything,'' her island conquered by Europeans. This paradise is so intensely and believably imagined that the epilogue, quoted from Columbus's diary, sickens with its ominous significance. Subtly, Dorris draws parallels between the timeless chafings of sibs set on changing each other's temperaments and the intrusions of states questing new territory. Saddening, compelling—a novel to be cherished for its compassion and humanity. (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 1992

ISBN: 1-56282-284-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

NIM'S ISLAND

A child finds that being alone in a tiny tropical paradise has its ups and downs in this appealingly offbeat tale from the Australian author of Peeling the Onion (1999). Though her mother is long dead and her scientist father Jack has just sailed off on a quick expedition to gather plankton, Nim is anything but lonely on her small island home. Not only does she have constant companions in Selkie, a sea lion, and a marine iguana named Fred, but Chica, a green turtle, has just arrived for an annual egg-laying—and, through the solar-powered laptop, she has even made a new e-mail friend in famed adventure novelist Alex Rover. Then a string of mishaps darkens Nim’s sunny skies: her father loses rudder and dish antenna in a storm; a tourist ship that was involved in her mother’s death appears off the island’s reefs; and, running down a volcanic slope, Nim takes a nasty spill that leaves her feverish, with an infected knee. Though she lives halfway around the world and is in reality a decidedly unadventurous urbanite, Alex, short for “Alexandra,” sets off to the rescue, arriving in the midst of another storm that requires Nim and companions to rescue her. Once Jack brings his battered boat limping home, the stage is set for sunny days again. Plenty of comic, freely-sketched line drawings help to keep the tone light, and Nim, with her unusual associates and just-right mix of self-reliance and vulnerability, makes a character young readers won’t soon tire of. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-81123-0

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more