Again selecting an intriguing variety of subjects from city and country—and presenting both animate and inanimate objects with a delightful use of color—this fine photographer pairs uncaptioned images that explore the concept of opposites. Sometimes the ideas are simple: the same gate, open or shut, though even this pair extends an idea from the previous page—an open and closed hand that also represent left and right. Some of the multiple ideas are subtle enough to provoke discussion: Is a swimming duck the opposite of a diving duck? Or is this pair merely a reiteration of the head/tail pairing already introduced with two views of a sheep? Beautiful, elegantly composed, nourishing to eye and mind.

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 1991

ISBN: 0-688-08861-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2000



Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-689-82979-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1999


Miranda’s book counts the monsters gathering at a birthday party, while a simple rhyming text keeps the tally and surveys the action: “Seven starved monsters are licking the dishes./Eight blow out candles and make birthday wishes.” The counting proceeds to ten, then by tens to fifty, then gradually returns to one, which makes the monster’s mother, a purple pin-headed octopus, very happy. The book is surprisingly effective due to Powell’s artwork; the color has texture and density, as if it were poured onto the page, but the real attention-getter is the singularity of every monster attendee. They are highly individual and, therefore, eminently countable. As the numbers start crawling upward, it is both fun and a challenge to try to recognize monsters who have appeared in previous pages, or to attempt to stay focused when counting the swirling or bunched creatures. The story has glints of humor, and in combination with the illustrations is a grand addition to the counting shelf. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-201835-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1999

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