THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT

Surprisingly, there isn’t a “beautiful pea-green boat[ful]” of illustrated renditions of Lear’s most famous and favorite verse, making Mortimer’s version with her signature style of handsome, whisker-realistic cat images a perfect marriage to the tale. Her delicate lines, tactile textures of feathers and fur, engaging composition and fascinating borders infused with flowers, ferns, insects and butterflies breathe life into the rhyme. Two styles of borders play off each other effectively; round insets appear like portholes while rectangular ones nicely frame a scroll-like message with text. Other illustrated depictions are less elegant: Hilary Knight’s and Michael Hague’s are typically wry and darkly fanciful; Jan Brett also relies on brightly colored borders, but Mortimer’s palette is richer, more refined and dreamy in atmosphere. Like the title characters, the art walks “hand in hand” with the 22-line poetic romance as this delightfully charming creation does, indeed, “dance by the light of the moon.” (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-027228-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

ALL THE COLORS OF THE EARTH

This heavily earnest celebration of multi-ethnicity combines full-bleed paintings of smiling children, viewed through a golden haze dancing, playing, planting seedlings, and the like, with a hyperbolic, disconnected text—``Dark as leopard spots, light as sand,/Children buzz with laughter that kisses our land...''— printed in wavy lines. Literal-minded readers may have trouble with the author's premise, that ``Children come in all the colors of the earth and sky and sea'' (green? blue?), and most of the children here, though of diverse and mixed racial ancestry, wear shorts and T-shirts and seem to be about the same age. Hamanaka has chosen a worthy theme, but she develops it without the humor or imagination that animates her Screen of Frogs (1993). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-688-11131-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1994

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

There’s always tomorrow.

TOMORROW IS WAITING

A lyrical message of perseverance and optimism.

The text uses direct address, which the title- and final-page illustrations suggest comes from an adult voice, to offer inspiration and encouragement. The opening spreads reads, “Tonight as you sleep, a new day stirs. / Each kiss good night is a wish for tomorrow,” as the accompanying art depicts a child with black hair and light skin asleep in a bed that’s fantastically situated in a stylized landscape of buildings, overpasses, and roadways. The effect is dreamlike, in contrast with the next illustration, of a child of color walking through a field and blowing dandelion fluff at sunrise. Until the last spread, each child depicted in a range of settings is solitary. Some visual metaphors falter in terms of credibility, as in the case of a white-appearing child using a wheelchair in an Antarctic ice cave strewn with obstacles, as the text reads “you’ll explore the world, only feeling lost in your imagination.” Others are oblique in attempted connections between text and art. How does a picture of a pale-skinned, black-haired child on a bridge in the rain evoke “first moments that will dance with you”? But the image of a child with pink skin and brown hair scaling a wall as text reads “there will be injustice that will challenge you, and it will surprise you how brave you can be” is clearer.

There’s always tomorrow. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-101-99437-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more