DEAR JUNO

Picture-book debuts for both author and illustrator result in an affectionate glimpse of intergenerational bonds. Juno loves to get letters in the red-and-blue bordered airmail envelopes that come from his grandmother, who lives in Korea, near Seoul. He cannot read Korean, but he opens the letter anyway, and learns what he can from what his grandmother has sent: a photograph of herself and her new cat, and a dried flower from her garden. When his parents read him the letter, he realizes how much he learned from the other things his grandmother mailed to him. He creates some drawings of himself, his parents, house, and dog, and sends them along with a big leaf from his swinging tree. He gets back a package that includes drawing pencils and a small airplane—the grandmother is coming to visit. The messages that can be conveyed without words, language differences between generations, and family ties across great distances are gently and affectingly handled in this first picture book. The illustrations, done in oil-paint glazes, are beautifully lit; the characters, particularly Grandmother, with her bowl of persimmons, her leafy garden, and her grey bun that looks “like a powdered doughnut,” are charming. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-670-88252-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

JUST LIKE A BABY

A handmade cradle forms the centerpiece of one family’s celebration of the birth of a new baby in this congenial debut from Bond. Skirts bounce, watch fobs bob, and pots and pans swing from the rafters as the members of a family find out the good news—a new baby is on the way. Each one takes part in the construction of a cradle: Father builds it, Grandfather paints it, Grandmother sews a quilt for it, Brother cuts out a mobile to hang overhead, and Mother sets it in near the window, beneath the pearly moonlight. A cumulative refrain marks the completion of each person’s loving task; one family member after another takes a turn climbing into the cradle and is gently rocked to sleep. Rounded, rosy-cheeked, chubby characters spill out of the cradle and skewed, elongated perspectives recall Audrey and Don Woods’ The Napping House (1984). The circle of family surrounding the baby provides more warmth than a fire in the hearth and is more soothing than the hum of a lullaby. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-316-10416-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

HOPE

Monk takes a didactic tack in presenting one girl’s ancestry, weaving into a story of several generations the scene of her African-American mother and Caucasian father’s wedding. The stumbling narration establishes that the protagonist is in sixth grade, looking back on a summer weekend before she entered second grade. Her loving Aunt Prudence, known as Aunt Poogee, takes the narrator to an open-air market, where they encounter another relative, Miss Violet. Miss Violet asks outright, “My goodness, Prudence, is the child mixed?” The question haunts the girl, whose name is revealed as Hope, until Aunt Poogee steps in with a bedtime story that is overblown, invoking the faith of immigrants and slaves across generations who “look forward to a future where you will be proud to be part of a race that is simply ‘human.’ “ The sentiments are strong, but the delivery borders on mawkish. Sturdy faces, tender postures, and vibrant backgrounds considerably enliven the bibliotherapeutic proceedings. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 9, 1999

ISBN: 1-57505-230-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more