MY GRANDMOTHER’S CLOCK

Compulsive clock-watchers may come away from this poetic disquisition with some truer ways of telling time. When a child suggests that the grandfather clock in her grandmother’s house needs fixing, Grandma explains that she has many other ways of measuring time: heartbeats, pages of a book, bathwater going cold, shadows under a tree. She tells days of the week by the smell of bread baking, the clatter of garbagemen, and other cues: longer intervals by the moon and tides, flowers and temperatures, “comets in their ellipses, the sun and moon’s eclipses,” and even the stars, which also teach that “time’s just too big to fit inside any watch or clock.” Lambert (Nobody Rides the Unicorn, 2000, etc.) uses muted, clear colors and softly rounded forms to give his scenes of child and grandparents rambling down country roads or along the shore, planting the garden, making snowballs, or just sitting together, a peaceful, idyllic air. An eloquent, compelling invitation to children to think deep thoughts and not to take the over-scheduled life for granted. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2002

ISBN: 0-618-21695-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2002

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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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