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JELLYBEANS by Sylvia Van Ommen Kirkus Star


by Sylvia Van Ommen

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-59643-035-4
Publisher: Roaring Brook

A small, framed line drawing of a rabbit receiving a text message hints at the gentle understatement within this small gem. Rabbit and his dearest friend cat meet in the park, share jellybeans and cocoa and ponder heaven . . . whether it will be crowded, whether there will be jellybeans and most important whether they will meet and remember each other in the hereafter. In the event they fail to know each other, they will simply become friends again. Their contemplations move outward from the personal and concrete to the abstract and metaphysical, then back again to the personal and concrete, while retaining a quality of uncomplicated innocence, comforting reassurance and tender whimsy. Stylistically economical but expressive in language and art, this never loses its naïve point of view. Cat and rabbit are endearingly rendered with seemingly effortless and unerring black line surrounded by generous white space. The achievement cannot be overestimated—feather light treatment of the weightiest subject and all of it made charmingly comprehensible. (Picture book. 4-8)