RIO GRANDE

FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS TO THE GULF OF MEXICO

Lourie, following the format of his previous photo-essays (Yukon River, 1992, etc.), traces the route of the Rio Grande, third longest river in the US, from its origin high in the Colorado mountains, 1,885 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, historic and contemporary photographs tell of people and events past and present. The first-person narrative makes the past come alive; under discussion are ranchers, miners, and outlaws such as Billy the Kid and Pancho Villa. Lourie visits Taos Pueblos, describes the petroglyphs carved in the rocks, rafts, and camps along the shores, stops at a ghost town flooded when the Falcon Dam was created, interviews border patron officers, and ends at the azure waters of the gulf. Throughout the narrative runs an accomplished combination of history, geography, archaeology, and ecology. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1999

ISBN: 1-56397-706-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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SILVER RAIN BROWN

The hazy hot summer seems interminable for a young African-American boy and his pregnant mother. “Can’t cool down!” is the refrain that reverberates throughout the tale, and it’s literally true; lack of rain has put the city on a water conservation alert and the mother worries about all her flowers. Instead of despairing, mother and child surreptitiously water the plants using kitchen pots under the cloak of darkness; the theme of personal resilience and coping permeates the tale. A cooling, life-giving rain heralds the onset of the mother’s labor and the arrival of a new baby sister, Silver Rain Brown. The special bond between mother and son is readily apparent in Flavin’s full-page, full-color illustrations. As for the father, there is only one reference for readers to interpret: “Four a.m. and I can’t sleep, wishing Daddy would come back, wishing, wishing it would rain.” Helldorfer deftly captures the heavy oppressiveness of a summer heat wave, from children attempting to fry eggs on the sidewalk to short tempers and sleeping the hot days away, while Flavin’s illustrations artfully reflect the shimmering cityscapes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-395-73093-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1999

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