ONLY A PIGEON

Jane Kurtz (Trouble, p. 383, etc.) and her brother, newcomer Christopher Kurtz, offer an unusual and well-written story set in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia—a tale that could be a jumping-off place for a number of topics. Upon rising, Ondu-ahlem, who looks 12, hurries to tend his beloved homing pigeons and their eggs, which will hatch soon. This is his passion, and as he goes through the routine of his day—a half-day at his crowded school, a job shining shoes on the streets—the birds are always on his mind. He allows his little brother to accompany him while he plays a suspenseful game with other boys who keep birds: They release their birds far from home, hoping their own will entice one of the others to defect to their coop. Watercolors in earth tones perfectly capture the terrain, the markets, the hodgepodge outfits the boys piece together. Scenery and portraits alike exhibit great skill in portraying the city and one boy's place in it, while the elegant storytelling is suffused with the quiet tension of the pigeons in danger. (glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-689-80077-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

LAST DAY BLUES

From the Mrs. Hartwell's Classroom Adventures series

One more myth dispelled for all the students who believe that their teachers live in their classrooms. During the last week of school, Mrs. Hartwell and her students reflect on the things they will miss, while also looking forward to the fun that summer will bring. The kids want to cheer up their teacher, whom they imagine will be crying over lesson plans and missing them all summer long. But what gift will cheer her up? Numerous ideas are rejected, until Eddie comes up with the perfect plan. They all cooperate to create a rhyming ode to the school year and their teacher. Love’s renderings of the children are realistic, portraying the diversity of modern-day classrooms, from dress and expression to gender and skin color. She perfectly captures the emotional trauma the students imagine their teachers will go through as they leave for the summer. Her final illustration hysterically shatters that myth, and will have every teacher cheering aloud. What a perfect end to the school year. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-58089-046-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more