WAVE

Five gulls and a little girl play with the tide in this beach adventure that lacks text but provides plot aplenty. Nineteen beautiful blue-and-gray 24” x 7” acrylic-and-charcoal illustrations tell the story sublimely. A line of birds follows the barefoot girl to the edge of the shore, and the gently rolling tide chases all six of them several feet up the beach. A dance begins; forward, back. The composition uses the gutter to great effect, placing the gray-sketched girl and gulls on the left-hand page while the liquid blue ocean laps ever closer on the right. The girl splashes and plays in the shallow waters, birds swirling in the sky above her. Then a huge wave rears up and tumbles over her. For a minute, she’s stunned, then awestruck and excited to find the beach littered with beautiful shells that weren’t there before, blue ocean saturating gray land. Gulls in the sky react happily as well, wheeling against the now-azure sky. When mother comes to fetch her, the girl gives the ocean a secret wave goodbye. Simply spectacular. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8118-5924-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2008

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE LITTLE YELLOW LEAF

Beautifully designed and executed, this modest fable anthropomorphizes a leaf who hangs onto his oak branch far into the winter. When he discovers another late-lingering leaf on his tree, both agree to let go at once and dance away in the wind together. The brief text has a modestly elegant beauty and patterning that makes it a delight to read aloud (with one unfortunate adverbial faux pas: “the / sun / sank / slow”). The handsomely designed collage compositions are showstoppers in a palette of earth and sky, sometimes on a subtle background of paint over graph or notebook paper. They take full advantage of the visual bounty of autumn, which will be a delight in many preschool storytimes. However, the implicit moral of taking courage from a friend may be over some children’s heads. They might wonder, as well, what exactly happens to the brave little leaves after they drift out of sight into the cold winter sky. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-06-145223-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2008

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE CURIOUS GARDEN

Liam, a curious little boy who likes to be outside, lives in a city “without gardens or trees or greenery of any kind.” One day, while exploring an abandoned elevated railbed, he discovers a small patch of weeds and wildflowers. After a little bit of trial and error, Liam nurses his newfound plot into a “restless” garden that explores the length of the railway and, after a dormant winter, begins to find its way into the city below. Brown’s flat, faintly retro graphics make a vigorous accompaniment to his fey text, which personifies the “curious garden” with appealing earnestness. In an author’s note he describes the greening of Manhattan’s abandoned Highline, which inspired this hopeful little paean to the persistence of growing things in the dreariest places. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-316-01547-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more