SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

A good-natured rant against materialism. When Great-aunt Elsie Applebaum drops out of society, she leaves her possessions to a swarm of greedy relatives. No one is satisfied with any part of the legacy, until ``little Tilda-next-door'' gets hold of it. From broad hints dropped in the first few pages, readers will know that Tilda is the only one who understands Elsie and won't be surprised when she fashions the items into a magic traveling machine. Following a series of adventures, Tilda finds her own place in the sun, right next to Great-aunt Elsie. Whitcher (Real Mummies Don't Bleed, 1993, etc.) has poetic sensibility—``The guitar strings thrummed from the rush of flying,'' ``Fingers of fog reached and clung''—that she never overuses. At first the rather staid, even ordinary illustrations seem at odds with the text's rebellious message; soon they give rise to some grand images, especially in the fantastic latter-half of the book. A reunion of the creators of Moonfall (1993, not reviewed), this book builds to a satisfying close. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 1995

ISBN: 0-374-37138-5

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 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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