WINTER EYES

Florian’s naãf watercolor and colored pencil illustrations are excellent accompaniment to his 48 poems on the snowy season. The titular poem offers an invitation to readers to experience winter with appropriate sensory and ambulatory attitude: winter ears, eyes, nose and “winter feet/On crackling ice/Or sloshy wet sleet.” Much is made of the length of the season; summer hums and spring zings, “But winter/always/takes/its/time,” which results in “Cabin Fever,” a poem that exhibits symptoms and anodynes that are more adult than the attitudes and activities found in the majority of the poems. A sense of being snared by an endlessly white, crisply cold season permeates the book, although there are also cozy “fireplace feet” and a number of poems are devoted to the joys of winter, as in the typographically creative “Sled” and “The Winter Field,” which speak of, respectively, sailing downhill and soaring spirits. Winter-lovers and winter-haters alike will find poems that strike chords, in a collection that is perfect for reading alone by the fire, or as part of snug storytimes. (Poetry. 5-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-688-16458-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1999

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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