IF I RAN FOR PRESIDENT

No scandal mongering or shady PACs weasel their way into Stier’s bright-eyed story of running for the office of president. This will be an innocent and charmingly earnest race with lots of different kids tossing their hats into the ring. (Forget for the moment that candidates must be at least 35 years old, one of the bevy of facts presented at the outset.) Stier follows the candidates, and Avril draws them in all their crayon guilelessness, as they brood over entering the race, move from caucus to convention, ponder their positions and spread their wares before the public. Whiners need not apply, as Stier lets it be known that getting your message across is a long, tough job. But the story is refreshing, too; no one is pandering or posturing. Honesty is a virtue here, as is being concerned and well-scrubbed. This is a campaign to yearn for, all issues and not a spin doctor in sight. It’s enough to make you consider lowering the age requirement by about 30 years. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8075-3543-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2007

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HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

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RIVER STORY

Trickling, bubbling, swirling, rushing, a river flows down from its mountain beginnings, past peaceful country and bustling city on its way to the sea. Hooper (The Drop in My Drink, 1998, etc.) artfully evokes the water’s changing character as it transforms from “milky-cold / rattling-bold” to a wide, slow “sliding past mudflats / looping through marshes” to the end of its journey. Willey, best known for illustrating Geraldine McCaughrean’s spectacular folk-tale collections, contributes finely detailed scenes crafted in shimmering, intricate blues and greens, capturing mountain’s chill, the bucolic serenity of passing pastures, and a sense of mystery in the water’s shadowy depths. Though Hooper refers to “the cans and cartons / and bits of old wood” being swept along, there’s no direct conservation agenda here (for that, see Debby Atwell’s River, 1999), just appreciation for the river’s beauty and being. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7636-0792-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2000

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