I MISS YOU, I MISS YOU!

The sudden death of her twin leaves a teenager struggling with grief and her fragile sense of self in this absorbing, inwardly focused import from Sweden, part fiction, part memoir. So close are the sisters that after Cilla is killed by a motorist Tina can still hear her voice, still see her just by looking in a mirror, still hold conversations; she even finds herself taking on some of Cilla’s character traits, seeking an inner balance that she has lost. Able to describe her experiences only by switching back and forth between third person and first, Tina observes the different ways those around her grieve, and finds temporary solace in many places: reading and writing poetry, performing on stage, playing her violin, trying a brief but intense fling at summer camp, even talking to a perceptive psychologist—but unlike many such stories, there is never any sense here that the authors are running through a catalog of coping strategies, or offering trite platitudes. A year later, Tina discovers that, in forming new friendships and moving on in life, she has passed the worst of her pain, and found ways to distance herself from Cilla without losing her completely. In a smooth, natural-sounding translation, this is a thoughtful, complex reminiscence. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: March 23, 1999

ISBN: 91-29-63935-2

Page Count: 247

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1999

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THE COLORS OF US

This vibrant, thoughtful book from Katz (Over the Moon, 1997) continues her tribute to her adopted daughter, Lena, born in Guatemala. Lena is “seven. I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up”; she learns during a painting lesson that to get the color brown, she will have to “mix red, yellow, black, and white paints.” They go for a walk to observe the many shades of brown: they see Sonia, who is the color of creamy peanut butter; Isabella, who is chocolate brown; Lucy, both peachy and tan; Jo-Jin, the color of honey; Kyle, “like leaves in fall”; Mr. Pellegrino, the color of pizza crust, golden brown. Lena realizes that every shade is beautiful, then mixes her paints accordingly for portraits of her friends—“The colors of us!” Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child’s open-hearted sensibility and a mother’s love. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5864-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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LAUGH-ETERIA

Florian’s seventh collection of verse is also his most uneven; though the flair for clever rhyme that consistently lights up his other books, beginning with Monster Motel (1993), occasionally shows itself—“Hello, my name is Dracula/My clothing is all blackula./I drive a Cadillacula./I am a maniacula”—too many of the entries are routine limericks, putdowns, character portraits, rhymed lists that fall flat on the ear, or quick quips: “It’s hard to be anonymous/When you’re a hippopotamus.” Florian’s language and simple, thick-lined cartoons illustrations are equally ingenuous, and he sticks to tried-and-true subjects, from dinosaurs to school lunch, but the well of inspiration seems dry; revisit his hilarious Bing Bang Boing (1994) instead. (index) (Poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202084-5

Page Count: 158

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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