BEBOP-A-DO-WALK!

A joy-filled celebration of an exciting and even nurturing urban landscape. The narrator, Emi, launches on the endpapers her story of the ``longest walk,'' a trip she made with her father and her best friend, an African-American girl named Martha. From their friendly, familiar Chinatown block in New York City they travel up to Washington Square Park, past the Flatiron building, up to the Empire State Building``Martha swore you could see King Kong.'' They pass 52nd Street where ``Bird and Diz and Monk'' once played. They visit the Museum of Modern Art. Finally they reach Central Park and ride the carousel. Emi's father sketches the boat pond and makes paper boats for all the children; he folds paper cranes during the bus ride home as the lights come on in the buildings around them. The paintings form an appealing view of the big city: colorful, pulsing, filled with child-pleasing details and shifting points of view. This is no golden, lost childhood (although the bus ride seems to cost them 5õ each). As was true in the early works of Ezra Jack Keats, the child-heroes welcome every adventure before them; Hamanaka makes the journey uplifting and the road home safe. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-689-80288-9

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1995

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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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LAST DAY BLUES

From the Mrs. Hartwell's Classroom Adventures series

One more myth dispelled for all the students who believe that their teachers live in their classrooms. During the last week of school, Mrs. Hartwell and her students reflect on the things they will miss, while also looking forward to the fun that summer will bring. The kids want to cheer up their teacher, whom they imagine will be crying over lesson plans and missing them all summer long. But what gift will cheer her up? Numerous ideas are rejected, until Eddie comes up with the perfect plan. They all cooperate to create a rhyming ode to the school year and their teacher. Love’s renderings of the children are realistic, portraying the diversity of modern-day classrooms, from dress and expression to gender and skin color. She perfectly captures the emotional trauma the students imagine their teachers will go through as they leave for the summer. Her final illustration hysterically shatters that myth, and will have every teacher cheering aloud. What a perfect end to the school year. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-58089-046-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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