YELLOWSTONE MORAN

PAINTING THE AMERICAN WEST

This story of Thomas Moran’s bold adventure as part of Dr. Ferdinand Hayden’s 1871 exploratory expedition to Yellowstone chronicles his challenges in his first foray into the wilderness and briefly summarizes his resultant success as a painter. Judge gently but humorously acknowledges his inauspicious beginnings: Never having ridden a horse, he jury-rigged a pillow over his saddle, much to the amusement of Hayden and the rest of the team. Together with an adventuresome photographer, he scaled mountainsides to find exceptional sights to sketch and then bring to life on canvas—a feat that helped lead to the establishment of Yellowstone National Park, the nation’s first. Faux journal pages help to move the narrative along, accompanied by imagined field sketches. The author’s watercolors effectively capture the monumental landscapes, accommodating at the end a gorgeous reproduction of Moran’s colossal painting of the Yellowstone’s canyon. The author explains in a note that she read the journals of Moran and the others on the Yellowstone team and studied his sketches and paintings to bring verisimilitude to her account, then added some fictionalized conversations. Inspiring. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-670-01132-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE

            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more