A TREE PLACE

AND OTHER POEMS

``Technique'': ``I watched a spider wrap her gnat/with such of flood of tidyness./She twiddled all her nimble feet/And seemed to do a dance in place/While tying round a stream of thread/As pale and white as soft-spun milk,/So careful not to miss one step/Or spill a single/Drop/Of silk!'' Levy might be describing her own craft; like her first book of brief poems about the natural world (I'm Going to Pet a Worm Today, 1991), these 40 new ones capture a childlike sensibility with exquisite economy, artistry, and care. Levy's fresh, clear-eyed vision of little things—``Dandelion Roots'' (``muscle and lace''), a snake writing its own initial, or a ``Gleam Team'' of fireflies (``A double dip of glimmer'')—offer a delightful series of humor- touched epiphanies and insights into how the most ordinary things may be extraordinary and how a poet's words can reveal that quality. Sabuda's occasional soft pencil sketches enhance the format without intruding on the quiet mood of the verse. (Poetry. 5+)

Pub Date: April 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-689-50599-X

Page Count: 48

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1994

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating...

FRINDLE

Nicholas is a bright boy who likes to make trouble at school, creatively. 

When he decides to torment his fifth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Granger (who is just as smart as he is), by getting everyone in the class to replace the word "pen'' with "frindle,'' he unleashes a series of events that rapidly spins out of control. If there's any justice in the world, Clements (Temple Cat, 1995, etc.) may have something of a classic on his hands. By turns amusing and adroit, this first novel is also utterly satisfying. The chess-like sparring between the gifted Nicholas and his crafty teacher is enthralling, while Mrs. Granger is that rarest of the breed: a teacher the children fear and complain about for the school year, and love and respect forever after. 

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating tale—one to press upon children, and one they'll be passing among themselves. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80669-8

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1996

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