BRER TIGER AND THE BIG WIND

Faulkner (1891-1987) heard this story in the style of Uncle Remus from a former slave who worked on his mother's farm. It's a dry summer, and there's no food anywhere except for a big pear tree — but Brer Tiger won't let any of the other animals near it. When Brer Rabbit learns of this, he has the other animals assemble in the woods and make a big noise. Brer Tiger wakes up and asks what's going on. Brer Rabbit replies: "Oh, Lord, oh, Lord, there's a great big wind that's a-coming through the woods, and it's going to blow all the people off the earth!" Brer Tiger then persuades Brer Rabbit to tie him to a tree, whereby the other animals gain access to his supplies. Faulkner's text demonstrates the work of a consummate storyteller. His narrative — richly ornamented with comic touches, full of turns of phrase that instantly define a character — displays a perfect certainty of touch. Attending to every blade of grass and to every hair on Bret Bear, Wilson imbues her illustrations with a measured peace that brings resonance to the almost mythical atmosphere. This is a peculiar world of talking animals, painted in glowing oranges and browns; the book is not only an example of great storytelling, but a minor work of art.

Pub Date: March 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-688-12985-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1995

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ALVIN AILEY

A slightly fictionalized account of the great dancer- choreographer's (1931-89) early training and rise to fame, ending with the triumphant 1960 production of Revelations. Andrea Pinkney's narration is an undetailed but effective appreciation, written in an energetic, expressive style. Her husband's scratchboard illustrations are grand, beautifully capturing the dancers' rhythmic movement in swirls of fine lines and subtle, rather somber color enriching the black underlay. A final note fills in some of the facts; this attractive introduction, based on interviews with many who knew Ailey, will leave readers hungry for more. (Biography/Picture book)

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 1993

ISBN: 1-56282-413-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1993

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THE BABY HOUSE

A newly illustrated reissue of a 1955 text which has held up well, in general: an expectant family first welcomes kittens, then puppies (and keeps them all, so the clear-toned watercolor illustrations offer many opportunities for counting), then a baby. The pint-size narrator is from the same mold as the irrepressible heroine of Samuels' Dolores books (Bradbury, 1986-89); they even share the same fondness for big hats and cowboy boots. The simple parallelism of the text, which shows the human mother (like the canine and feline ones) loving, kissing, and feeding her offspring, requires that the human father be anachronistically portrayed offstage or as the fond onlooker of a generation ago rather than as the active participant that he often is today. But young readers will be more concerned with the narrator, who neatly places herself just where most children would want to be—smack in the center of everything: ``All the mothers had their babies. All the fathers had their babies. And I had all their babies,'' she says happily, as puppies, kittens, and little brother clamber over her. There are more than enough books that deal with sibling rivalry; this one primes a child on all the positive wonders of being an older sibling. (Picture book. 2-5)*justify no*

Pub Date: March 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-671-87044-0

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1995

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