An informative, easy-to-follow, pleasing lesson in readying wool for knitting.

SPIN A SCARF OF SUNSHINE

A family embraces the Earth and its resources in this Scottish import.

In an appealing bucolic setting, a young girl named Nari feeds her lamb as they are surrounded by chicks, hens, and flowers. Her parents, mother holding a baby, are close by. As the year goes on, the lamb grows bigger, and the affection between girl and animal continues. When spring comes, Nari’s father shears the sheep, and the process of making wool begins. Step by step, Nari and her mother wash the wool, card it, spin it, dye it “yellow as summer sunshine,” and begin knitting. It’s not an easy task for the girl. A big hole appears in her work, but the scarf is completed in time for winter frolics in the snow. Time passes. Nari and her baby sibling have grown; the scarf goes into the compost, which goes into the soil, which enriches the grass, which feeds a lamb. Nari now knits a scarf with her little sister watching attentively under the spreading leaves of a big tree. A penultimate double-page spread details the steps involved in making wool, with helpful numbering and arrows. The text is straightforward, with occasional lyrical repetition. Display text highlights actions and/or onomatopoeia; when Nari digs the compost into the earth, for instance, large italicized letters emphasize the action: “Dig—dig.” Delicate, colorful illustrations fill each page with pretty people, cute animals, and idyllic scenes. Nari and her sister are biracial, with an East Asian mom and White dad.

An informative, easy-to-follow, pleasing lesson in readying wool for knitting. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-78250-658-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Floris

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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Share this feel-good title with those who love art and those who can appreciate the confidence-building triumph of solving a...

SKY COLOR

Reynolds returns to a favorite topic—creative self-expression—with characteristic skill in a companion title to The Dot (2003) and Ish (2004).

Marisol is “an artist through and through. So when her teacher told her class they were going to paint a mural…, Marisol couldn’t wait to begin.” As each classmate claims a part of the picture to paint, Marisol declares she will “paint the sky.” But she soon discovers there is no blue paint and wonders what she will do without the vital color. Up to this point, the author uses color sparingly—to accent a poster or painting of Marisol’s or to highlight the paint jars on a desk. During her bus ride home, Marisol wonders what to do and stares out the window. The next spread reveals a vibrant departure from the gray tones of the previous pages. Reds, oranges, lemon yellows and golds streak across the sunset sky. Marisol notices the sky continuing to change in a rainbow of colors…except blue. After awakening from a colorful dream to a gray rainy day, Marisol smiles. With a fervent mixing of paints, she creates a beautiful swirling sky that she describes as “sky color.” Fans of Reynolds will enjoy the succinct language enhanced by illustrations in pen, ink, watercolor, gouache and tea.

Share this feel-good title with those who love art and those who can appreciate the confidence-building triumph of solving a problem on one’s own—creatively. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-2345-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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A welcome addition to autumnal storytelling—and to tales of traditional enemies overcoming their history.

THE SCARECROW

Ferry and the Fans portray a popular seasonal character’s unlikely friendship.

Initially, the protagonist is shown in his solitary world: “Scarecrow stands alone and scares / the fox and deer, / the mice and crows. / It’s all he does. It’s all he knows.” His presence is effective; the animals stay outside the fenced-in fields, but the omniscient narrator laments the character’s lack of friends or places to go. Everything changes when a baby crow falls nearby. Breaking his pole so he can bend, the scarecrow picks it up, placing the creature in the bib of his overalls while singing a lullaby. Both abandon natural tendencies until the crow learns to fly—and thus departs. The aabb rhyme scheme flows reasonably well, propelling the narrative through fall, winter, and spring, when the mature crow returns with a mate to build a nest in the overalls bib that once was his home. The Fan brothers capture the emotional tenor of the seasons and the main character in their panoramic pencil, ballpoint, and digital compositions. Particularly poignant is the close-up of the scarecrow’s burlap face, his stitched mouth and leaf-rimmed head conveying such sadness after his companion goes. Some adults may wonder why the scarecrow seems to have only partial agency, but children will be tuned into the problem, gratified by the resolution.

A welcome addition to autumnal storytelling—and to tales of traditional enemies overcoming their history. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-247576-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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