AMERICA

MY LAND, YOUR LAND, OUR LAND

Seriously flawed as a concept book, this picture book offers rewards for readers interested in its specific merits. Nikola- Lisa (Tangletalk, p. 646, etc.) presents a pair of phrases for illustration in double-page spreads: ``Wood Land/Farm Land/Wet Land/Dry Land/Rough Land/Smooth Land.'' Each of the 14 spreads is illustrated by a different artist. Therefore, there is not only a different style and medium for each, but a different way of looking at the definition of land: ``Wet Land,'' for example, shows a family in a rowboat amid a few marsh grasses. The grasses and a nearby flamingo convey some sense of a wetland, but then why is the phrase rigidly two words? ``Low Land/High Land'' has in its background the suggestion of tiered hills, but there is a giant fish in the foreground of ``High Land.'' Ice appears as ``Smooth Land.'' This isn't a book for children as much as a showcase for several talented artists, among them Gregory Christie, Hector Viveros Lee, Erwin Printup, Jr., Enrique O. Sanchez, Yoriko It, and Huy Lee. To that end, an ``About the Art'' page includes photos of and quotations by the artists and information on their techniques and published works. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 1997

ISBN: 1-880000-37-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1997

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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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Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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