ISABEL ALLENDE

RECUERDOS PARA UN CUENTO/MEMORIES FOR A STORY

Meted colors and sharp black outlines characterize Molinari’s full-page illustrations for this brief biography of the noted Chilean author. The text, rendered in Spanish and English, focuses on the warm togetherness of Isabel’s extended family and her love for reading and telling stories. The key reference to her writing is the link between the séances that her grandmother conducted, when Isabel was just a girl, and La casa de los espíritus (The House of the Spirits), conceived, according to Benatar, as a sort of farewell letter to Isabel’s dying grandfather. The Chilean political instability that led to Allende’s flight from the country is mentioned, but the thrust of the narrative is family and imagination. Now that Allende has begun writing for adolescents as well as adults, her name will be more familiar to young readers than it would have been just a few years ago, and biographies of role models for girls are always in short supply. Appropriate for all elementary school collections, but especially in areas with Latino populations. (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-55885-379-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Piñata Books/Arte Público

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

RIVER STORY

Trickling, bubbling, swirling, rushing, a river flows down from its mountain beginnings, past peaceful country and bustling city on its way to the sea. Hooper (The Drop in My Drink, 1998, etc.) artfully evokes the water’s changing character as it transforms from “milky-cold / rattling-bold” to a wide, slow “sliding past mudflats / looping through marshes” to the end of its journey. Willey, best known for illustrating Geraldine McCaughrean’s spectacular folk-tale collections, contributes finely detailed scenes crafted in shimmering, intricate blues and greens, capturing mountain’s chill, the bucolic serenity of passing pastures, and a sense of mystery in the water’s shadowy depths. Though Hooper refers to “the cans and cartons / and bits of old wood” being swept along, there’s no direct conservation agenda here (for that, see Debby Atwell’s River, 1999), just appreciation for the river’s beauty and being. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7636-0792-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more