THE STORY OF PASSOVER

A gentle retelling of the Passover story, first published in 1965 with pictures by Symeon Shimin, has been newly illustrated by Weihs. She enhances and extends the text by showing Jews of many ethnic groups and races, in various family configurations, in the US and abroad. The oil paintings, in a palette of subdued lilac, sand, hazy green, and aqua, have a dreamy quality, eliminating precise details in favor of mood. That may be why readers unfamiliar with aspects of the holiday will find some details puzzling—the proclamation, ``A large dish called the Seder Plate is filled with foods that remind us of the time in Egypt,'' appears on one page, with explanations of the food and what each one symbolizes appearing several pages later. Simon concludes with recipes and some suggestions for creating Passover place cards. Those looking for a general overview of Passover's rituals and background will find this charmingly low-key. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 1997

ISBN: 0-06-027062-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1996

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It’s not the most dramatic version, but it’s a visually effective and serviceable addition to the rapidly growing shelf of...

THE FIRST MEN WHO WENT TO THE MOON

A 50th-anniversary commemoration of the epochal Apollo 11 mission.

Modeling her account on “The House That Jack Built” (an unspoken, appropriate nod to President John F. Kennedy’s foundational role in the enterprise), Greene takes Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins from liftoff to post-splashdown ticker-tape parade. Side notes on some spreads and two pages of further facts with photographs at the end, all in smaller type, fill in select details about the mission and its historical context. The rhymed lines are fully cumulated only once, so there is some repetition but never enough to grow monotonous: “This is the Moon, a mysterious place, / a desolate land in the darkness of space, / far from Earth with oceans blue.” Also, the presentation of the text in just three or fewer lines per spread stretches out the narrative and gives Brundage latitude for both formal and informal group portraits of Apollo 11’s all-white crew, multiple glimpses of our planet and the moon at various heights, and, near the end, atmospheric (so to speak) views of the abandoned lander and boot prints in the lunar dust.

It’s not the most dramatic version, but it’s a visually effective and serviceable addition to the rapidly growing shelf of tributes to our space program’s high-water mark. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-58536-412-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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WHEN EVERYBODY WORE A HAT

Between portrait photos taken almost nine decades apart, Steig crustily introduces his Mom, his Pop, and his childhood world—a world where “there were almost no electric lights, cars or telephones—and definitely no TV.” Like his prose, his cartoons are sketchy and childlike, passing with a turn of the page from a gory, imagined battlefield scene to views of the janitor’s tough-looking dog and other neighborhood pets. He barely shows or mentions siblings, friends, or his Bronx neighborhood—and even younger viewers will notice that, despite the title, many of his figures are hatless. So what will children get from this? Next to that whippersnapper James Stevenson’s When I Was Nine (1986), but still distant, generation, not much more than the bare hint that Steig, too, was young. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-009700-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2003

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