THE BLIZZARD'S ROBE

Sabuda (Christmas Alphabet, 1994, etc.) illustrates this original tale of the origin of the northern lights with spread-filling, eye-catching batik art. Although her village is being terrorized by a brutal blizzard, when a young seamstress, Teune, accidentally destroys its robe, and therefore its power, she braves the anger of her people to create a beautiful replacement. In return, the blizzard leaves the sky full of dancing lights. Blizzard, depicted as a great scowling mask, swirls commandingly through marbled, multi-hued skies, but the robe, with its fur-trimmed, vividly-colored panels, and strong geometric designs, is the book’s visual centerpiece, setting the stage for a glorious light show at the end. Matching striking illustrations to a plot in which the creative impulse must be served at the expense of both personal and public safety, Sabuda offers a story as provocative as it is mighty. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-31988-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 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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TASTY BABY BELLY BUTTONS

PLB 0-679-99369-X Inspired by local versions of a popular Japanese folktale, Sierra (Antarctic Antics, 1998, etc.) recasts a yarn that usually stars Momotaro, or “Peach Boy,” with a female lead. When giant, ogre-like oni take away all the village’s babies to make snacks of their tasty navels, little Uriko-hime is left behind; she was born from a melon, and so has no belly button. Gathering up a small band of animal companions along the way, Uriko tricks the monsters into walloping themselves with clubs, and rescues the children, leaving delicious millet dumplings behind in consolation. Clad in a flowing, watermelon-colored kimono, Uriko makes a doughty heroine, equally skilled in cookery and swordplay; So’s art has a traditional look, with theatrically gesturing figures, busy crowd scenes, and energetic brushwork. A vigorously told comic adventure. (Picture book/folklore. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-679-89369-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1999

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