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DEAR WORLD by Takayo Noda Kirkus Star


by Takayo Noda & illustrated by Takayo Noda

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8037-2644-9
Publisher: Dial

Using brilliant, subtly modulated colors and expressively shaped pieces of handmade paper, Noda creates a world of deceptive simplicity in neat collages of stylized houses, orchards, and gardens, of seasonal changes, of glowing arrays of stars, birds, fish, and flowers. Each harmonious scene is accompanied by free-verse commentary in which the voice—if not always the sensibility or imagery—is childlike: “once I heard an opera singer / singing / she was so colorful / so beautiful / she was trilling / on very high notes / as if she were / a bird in the forest . . . ” The artist combines and recombines familiar elements in startling, magical ways: in “Dear Ocean,” she envisions a line of houses whose open doors offer safety to small fish; “Dear Car” is an invitation to a worn-out automobile to dream of having wings; and in her own dreams, flowers, trees, and the sun itself turn heart-shaped after she eats an entire box of valentine chocolates “by mistake.” This sweetly lyrical children’s debut, with its deeply engaging visual and thematic currents, is bound to linger with readers and pre-readers alike. (Picture book/poetry. 5-10)