THE WEAVER

Where do dreams come from? In this picture book, the weaver (a young girl seated on a cloud and accompanied by an unmentioned gray cat) creates dreams on her loom in the sky with thread spun “from trails of shooting stars, / white clouds, / and spiderwebs hung with dew” and dyed with colors of the morning gleaned from the sky, grass, fields and water. Throughout the day, she weaves a tapestry of memories held and emotions felt by people all over the world, and then she dances around the nighttime world with her completed cloth, letting it “[drift] down / to the earth below— / a coat to warm us / and protect us, / a coat to fill us with joy.” Kleven’s soft, painterly illustrations depict a multicultural cast of characters going about their days and dream-filled nights in different parts of the world, and the weaver returns home to her own family in the sky at book’s end, providing a satisfying conclusion to the gentle, lyrical bedtime story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 22, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-374-38254-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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I CAN BE ANYTHING!

A young boy wonders aloud to a rabbit friend what he will be when he grows up and imagines some outrageous choices. “Puddle stomper,” “bubble gum popper,” “mixing-bowl licker,” “baby-sis soother” are just some of the 24 inspiringly creative vocations Spinelli’s young dreamer envisions in this pithy rhymed account. Aided by Liao’s cleverly integrated full-bleed mixed-media illustrations, which radiate every hue of the rainbow, and dynamic typesetting with words that swoop and dive, the author’s perspective on this adult-inspired question yields some refreshingly child-oriented answers. Given such an irresistible array of options—“So many jobs! / They’re all such fun”—the boy in the end decides, in an exuberant double gatefold, “I’m going to choose… / EVERY ONE!”—a conclusion befitting a generation expected to have more than six careers each. Without parents or peers around to corral this carefree child’s dreams, the possibilities of being whatever one wants appear both limitless and attainable. An inspired take on a timeless question. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-316-16226-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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NOT A BOX

Dedicated “to children everywhere sitting in cardboard boxes,” this elemental debut depicts a bunny with big, looping ears demonstrating to a rather thick, unseen questioner (“Are you still standing around in that box?”) that what might look like an ordinary carton is actually a race car, a mountain, a burning building, a spaceship or anything else the imagination might dream up. Portis pairs each question and increasingly emphatic response with a playscape of Crockett Johnson–style simplicity, digitally drawn with single red and black lines against generally pale color fields. Appropriately bound in brown paper, this makes its profound point more directly than such like-themed tales as Marisabina Russo’s Big Brown Box (2000) or Dana Kessimakis Smith’s Brave Spaceboy (2005). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-112322-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2006

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