WHEN SNOW LAY SOFT ON THE MOUNTAIN

Hermes (On Winter's Wind, 1995, etc.), in her first picture book effort, pens a sweet and sentimental tale that glows with Baker's radiant watercolors. Hallie walks with her father in the moonlight when spring is so close that she ``could feel its breath in her hair.'' They catch glimpses of wildlife, and Hallie tells him her wishes, but keeps one wish to herself. Papa becomes ill that fall, and Hallie's Aunt Belle, a quilter, comes to care for him: Christmas holds no wishes that year. But when spring and Hallie's March birthday come around, the doll she had secretly longed for appears on her bed, wrapped in one of Aunt Belle's quilts. And Papa is well enough to walk a bit that evening. Baker fills the pages with luminous shades of lavender, periwinkle, and silver grey: People, animals, household items, and landscape are rendered with a full and lively line. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-316-36005-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1996

A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

HOME

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions.

Ellis, known for her illustrations for Colin Meloy’s Wildwood series, here riffs on the concept of “home.”

Shifting among homes mundane and speculative, contemporary and not, Ellis begins and ends with views of her own home and a peek into her studio. She highlights palaces and mansions, but she also takes readers to animal homes and a certain famously folkloric shoe (whose iconic Old Woman manages a passel of multiethnic kids absorbed in daring games). One spread showcases “some folks” who “live on the road”; a band unloads its tour bus in front of a theater marquee. Ellis’ compelling ink and gouache paintings, in a palette of blue-grays, sepia and brick red, depict scenes ranging from mythical, underwater Atlantis to a distant moonscape. Another spread, depicting a garden and large building under connected, transparent domes, invites readers to wonder: “Who in the world lives here? / And why?” (Earth is seen as a distant blue marble.) Some of Ellis’ chosen depictions, oddly juxtaposed and stripped of any historical or cultural context due to the stylized design and spare text, become stereotypical. “Some homes are boats. / Some homes are wigwams.” A sailing ship’s crew seems poised to land near a trio of men clad in breechcloths—otherwise unidentified and unremarked upon.

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6529-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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