SWEEP DREAMS

As in all their work together, both Willard’s words and GrandPré’s art strongly express a feeling of “anything is possible”—even that a man could fall in love with a broom discovered in a grocery store. At first, he rapturously treats it as a decorative piece only, but when it begins to pine away, he takes a doctor’s advice to use it; soon he and broom are sweeping gracefully about the house—and it isn’t long before the broom begins dancing on its own. This naturally draws a group of admirers until one day a stranger steals the broom away. Using colored pencil and oil washes, GrandPré casts her lovers in stylish poses amid swirling lines and puffs of golden dust; the broom, with its red straws and crooked handle, has as much presence and character as any of the human figures. Recovered at last, the broom stands inert until the man allows it to sail out to sweep away “all the stars from the floor of the night”—save one, which he leaves in the window “to light her way when she wants to come home.” Readers inclined to look for the metaphor will not be disappointed—but neither will those willing to take this sweet, if unlikely romance at face value. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-316-94008-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2005

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Eeney meeney miney moe, catch this series before it goes! (Adventure. 7-9)

DANGER! TIGER CROSSING

From the Fantastic Frame series , Vol. 1

Two kids get up close and personal with some great works of art in this first in a new series.

Tiger Brooks is used to his little sister’s fantastical stories. So when the top-hatted orange pig she describes turns out to be not only real, but a next-door neighbor, Tiger enlists the help of his kooky new friend, Luna, to investigate. It turns out the pig works for the reclusive painter Viola Dots. Years ago a magical picture frame swallowed up her only son, and she’s searched for him in artworks ever since. When Tiger’s tinkering starts the magic up again, he and Luna are sucked into a reproduction of Henri Rousseau’s Surprised! or Tiger in a Tropical Storm, hungry predator and all. After meeting and failing to rescue Viola’s son in this adventure, the series is set up for the intrepid pair to infiltrate other classic paintings in the future. Backmatter provides information on the real Rousseau and his life. Oliver keeps the plot itself snappy and peppy. While there are few surprises, there’s also an impressive lack of lag time. This is helped in no small part by Kallis’ art, which goes from pen-and-ink drawings to full-blown color images once the kids cross over into the painting. Tiger is a white boy, and Luna is a dark-haired Latina.

Eeney meeney miney moe, catch this series before it goes! (Adventure. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-448-48087-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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