YELLOW AND PINK

The mystery of First Causes—with almost as little overt action, almost as much querying dialogue as a Beckett one-acter. . . until the snap-close. Lying in the sun, on an old newspaper, are two small wooden figures, tubby Pink and lean Yellow. Sitting up, they wonder who they are, how they got there—and begin to argue: Pink insisting "someone must have made us," Yellow maintaining "somehow or other we just happened." Then, to Pink's scoffing, Yellow proceeds to explain how it might have happened—a branch breaking off, tumbling, being struck by lightning, bored by insects, "or by woodpeckers." But, responds Pink, how come "there's two of us?" How come we're "so different?" "How come we're painted the way we are?" And "so neat and symmetrical?" Finally, Yellow gives up: "Some things will have to remain a mystery." At that a man comes "shambling along," pronounces the two "Nice and dry," and carries them off. "Who is this guy?" Yellow whispers. "Pink didn't know." With a yellow- and a pink-tinted figure in a gray-toned landscape, this is no eye-dazzler—but the kind of child to be, curious about who they are and why they're there is just the kind to appreciate the metaphysics and incidental perplexities here.

Pub Date: June 1, 1984

ISBN: 0374487359

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1984

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Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations.

GOD GAVE US EASTER

From the God Gave Us You series

Bergren and Bryant attempt to explain Easter to young children in a gentle, nonthreatening manner, with partial success.

When Little Cub questions her father about Easter, Papa Bear explains the religious significance of the holiday in various symbolic ways to his cub. He uses familiar things from their world, such as an egg and a fallen tree, to draw parallels with aspects of the Christian story. Papa Bear discusses his close relationships with Jesus and God, encouraging Little Cub to communicate with God on her own. The theme focuses on the renewal of life and the positive aspects of loving God and Jesus. Easter is presented as a celebration of eternal life, but the story skirts the issue of the crucifixion entirely. Some adults will find this an inadequate or even dishonest approach to the Easter story, but others will appreciate the calm and soothing text as a way to begin to understand a difficult subject. Bryant’s charming watercolor illustrations of the polar bear family, their cozy home and snowy forest scenes add to the overall mellow effect.

Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations. (Religion/picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-73072-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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  • SPONSORED PLACEMENT

The rare immigrant chronicle that is as long on hope as it is on heartbreak.

INFINITE COUNTRY

A 15-year-old girl in Colombia, doing time in a remote detention center, orchestrates a jail break and tries to get home.

"People say drugs and alcohol are the greatest and most persuasive narcotics—the elements most likely to ruin a life. They're wrong. It's love." As the U.S. recovers from the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, from the misery of separations on the border, from both the idea and the reality of a wall around the United States, Engel's vital story of a divided Colombian family is a book we need to read. Weaving Andean myth and natural symbolism into her narrative—condors signify mating for life, jaguars revenge; the embattled Colombians are "a singed species of birds without feathers who can still fly"; children born in one country and raised in another are "repotted flowers, creatures forced to live in the wrong habitat"—she follows Talia, the youngest child, on a complex journey. Having committed a violent crime not long before she was scheduled to leave her father in Bogotá to join her mother and siblings in New Jersey, she winds up in a horrible Catholic juvie from which she must escape in order to make her plane. Hence the book's wonderful first sentence: "It was her idea to tie up the nun." Talia's cross-country journey is interwoven with the story of her parents' early romance, their migration to the United States, her father's deportation, her grandmother's death, the struggle to reunite. In the latter third of the book, surprising narrative shifts are made to include the voices of Talia's siblings, raised in the U.S. This provides interesting new perspectives, but it is a little awkward to break the fourth wall so late in the book. Attention, TV and movie people: This story is made for the screen.

The rare immigrant chronicle that is as long on hope as it is on heartbreak.

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-982159-46-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

From the Chronicles of Narnia series , Vol. 1

Although metaphysical rumblings may disturb adults, this wily symbolism-studded fantasy should appeal to children of an imaginative turn. While exploring an old English mansion, the four children—Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy—discover through passing into a wardrobe, the strange land of Narnia, where it is winter without ever becoming Christmas. The children soon are swept up in the terror of the rule of the White Witch, fighting with the other subjects—all animals—and the glorious Lion, Asian, who brings spring and hope with him. In spite of the White Witch's terrific enslavement of Edmund, her horrid power, which changes living things to stone, and the sacrificial death of Aslan, the forces of light win, the children are made kings and queens, and Asian returns to life. The plot thickens to a pretty heavy pudding at the end, but the prose is witty and the novel action is fast-moving. Not recommended for adults!

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 1950

ISBN: 978-0-06-171505-1

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1950

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