THE FACE AT THE WINDOW

In a generous story set in Jamaica, Hanson (The Tangerine Tree, 1995) makes some of the same points found in Roni Schotter's Captain Snap and the Children of Vinegar Lane (1989), about doing the right thing and getting beyond the fear of the unknown, especially when the unknown is a neighbor. Dora, Lureen, and Trevor are outside Miss Nella's house, trying to knock down the last mangoes of the season with stones. Dora's stone bangs Miss Nella's door; the elderly woman, thought to have dire powers, appears at the window. Lureen and Trevor warn Dora that now something terrible will happen. When pelting rains wrack Dora's house ceaselessly, Dora sees it as a sign: ``De rain never goin' to end. . . . And is all my fault.'' Mammy and Pappy help Dora understand Miss Nella's illness and stand by her when she makes the decision to apologize. The surprise, for readers, is that the woman really is a little scary from a child's perspective, and that Dora is comfortable with her only after witnessing her own parents' tenderness toward Miss Nella. The narrative's lilt and the strict adherence to Dora's point of view give the tale much of its power. Saport's dense, hazy pastel illustrations are by turns foreboding and washed with relief, vibrantly evoking both setting and mood. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 14, 1997

ISBN: 0-395-78625-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more