IN THE SNOW

A mother-son walk through a wintry landscape teaches readers the stories behind Chinese characters that represent things they see. Xiao Ming learns that symbol for snow is created by putting the character for hand underneath the one for rain: ``Rain and snow are both forms of water, but we can hold snow in our hands,'' explains the mother. Each passage of text opens with a drawing of a Chinese character, followed by the mother's easy-to-remember words. Lee's beautiful cut-paper collages use colored paper to perceptively capture the texture of snow. The paper used to represent a skating rink is hatch-marked to resemble the scritch-scratch of skate blades. Curly fibers make a good snow-laden sky, and white paint speckles add snow to pine boughs, tree trunks, and coats. A border of white paper snowflakes encloses each picture and works as a clever link between the medium (paper) and the setting. Other books have explored the stories Chinese characters tell: Peggy Goldstein's Long is a Dragon (1991) presents a simple dictionary; Kurt Wiese's You Can Write Chinese (1945) uses stereotypes in the illustrations. Lee's book is a welcome update to these volumes, refreshingly contemporary and upbeat. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-8050-3172-3

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1995

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THE BOY WHO LOVED WORDS

A charmingly prolix tall tale of a boy so word-obsessed that he collects new words on slips of paper. They bulge from his pockets, float around his head and fill his world. Classmates nickname Selig “Wordsworth” and give him a word for his collection: “oddball.” The discovery that his purpose in life is to share his carefully chosen words with others leads to success and love. And, “if, one day, . . . the perfect word just seems to come to you . . . you’ll know that Selig is near.” Schotter’s words are enlivened by Potter’s distinctively naïve figures, all placed in settings in which words and labels are scattered about in a way that invites close inspection and promotes purposeful inquiry. It all adds up to an *exultant encounter, chockablock with tintinnabulating gusto (*see tantalizing glossary appended). A gift to precocious children and teachers as well. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 28, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83601-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006

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Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches...

TRASHY TOWN

Listeners will quickly take up the percussive chorus—“Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy town! Is the trash truck full yet? NO”—as they follow burly Mr. Gilly, the garbage collector, on his rounds from park to pizza parlor and beyond.

Flinging cans and baskets around with ease, Mr. Gilly dances happily through streetscapes depicted with loud colors and large, blocky shapes; after a climactic visit to the dump, he roars home for a sudsy bath.

Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches Eve Merriam’s Bam Bam Bam (1995), also illustrated by Yaccarino, for sheer verbal and visual volume. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 1999

ISBN: 0-06-027139-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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