PARIS IN THE SPRING WITH PICASSO

Yolleck’s admiration for a group of early-20th-century artists and friends spurred her to imagine a typical soirée hosted by Gertrude Stein. A prowling black cat purrs to readers, “On any day of the week, if you cross Paris’s Luxembourg Garden going west, you will come to a cobbled street called rue de Fleurus.” Readers are given a glimpse into each guest’s day leading up to the evening’s party. Guillaume Appollinaire crafts a new poem inspired by a street acrobat, Max Jacob works out a poem based on a dream and Pablo Picasso continues with his all-night creation of a painting of two women (“Two Nudes”). Priceman’s sweeping gouache-and-ink paintings brilliantly evoke the atmosphere of a bohemian city and imbue each scene with a sense of magic and movement. The courteous cat’s narration, punctuated with the occasional French phrase, suits the gently surreal mood. But the lengthy story itself, featuring as it does historical characters of whom the audience will know little (thumbnail bios at the beginning will provide some context), seems too ephemeral to make much lasting impression. Undeniably well done, this book will have trouble finding the right readers. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 23, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-375-83756-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Paraclete Press

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

THUNDER ROSE

Nolen and Nelson offer a smaller, but no less gifted counterpart to Big Jabe (2000) in this new tall tale. Shortly after being born one stormy night, Rose thanks her parents, picks a name, and gathers lightning into a ball—all of which is only a harbinger of feats to come. Decked out in full cowboy gear and oozing self-confidence from every pore, Rose cuts a diminutive, but heroic figure in Nelson’s big, broad Western scenes. Though she carries a twisted iron rod as dark as her skin and ropes clouds with fencing wire, Rose overcomes her greatest challenge—a pair of rampaging twisters—not with strength, but with a lullaby her parents sang. After turning tornadoes into much-needed rain clouds, Rose rides away, “that mighty, mighty song pressing on the bull’s-eye that was set at the center of her heart.” Throughout, she shows a reflective bent that gives her more dimension than most tall-tale heroes: a doff of the Stetson to her and her creators. (author’s note) (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-15-216472-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Silver Whistle/Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more