NOEL by Tony Johnston

NOEL

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Impressionistic watercolor illustrations filled with blowing snow and blue-gray skies set a wintry tone in this poetic exploration focusing on the sounds and sights of Christmas Eve, such as a church bell ringing from “an icicle-pointed steeple.” Johnston’s poem uses the word “Noel” in bold type throughout the text to indicate the sound of the church bell, but there are also the sounds of a brass band, sleigh bells and Christmas carols. The text is full of sensory details of all sorts: “a dark snow-smell,” “ears red with cold,” a tree decorated with cookies and candies. Chee’s soft-focus watercolors show just enough to draw the reader into each scene, while holding back specifics so that the viewer has to participate in the art by filling in some of the details. His impressionistic paintings are a fine match for the poem that serves as the text: Both seem to say that the hours of Christmas Eve rush by quickly in a blur of sensations too intense to last. (artist’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-57505-752-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Carolrhoda
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2005




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