SIT STILL!

Teachers and parents will immediately recognize Patrick, the subject of this appealing, slice-of-life picture book: He is the child who just can't sit still. Patrick knows 101 ways to sit in a chair; the drawing shows this happy, lanky kid always in motion in eight different chairs, as he rocks, kicks, lounges, and sprawls. ``Sit still'' are the two words he hears most, but Patrick really can't help it—even the doctor admits that there's nothing he can do for the boy. Patrick's mother, though, is not so placid; she comes up with dozens of activities for Patrick and starts walking to school with him. No Attention-Deficit Disorder in this book, no administering of Ritalin; Carlson (How to Lose All Your Friends, 1994, etc.) is interested in a good old case of the fidgets, capturing Patrick in bright, flat, action-filled pictures with strongly diagonal compositions and multiple images that convey motion. The solution will strike some as simplistic, but the good humor and tolerance expressed send a positive message about kids like Patrick. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-670-85721-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1996

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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

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NOT A BOX

Dedicated “to children everywhere sitting in cardboard boxes,” this elemental debut depicts a bunny with big, looping ears demonstrating to a rather thick, unseen questioner (“Are you still standing around in that box?”) that what might look like an ordinary carton is actually a race car, a mountain, a burning building, a spaceship or anything else the imagination might dream up. Portis pairs each question and increasingly emphatic response with a playscape of Crockett Johnson–style simplicity, digitally drawn with single red and black lines against generally pale color fields. Appropriately bound in brown paper, this makes its profound point more directly than such like-themed tales as Marisabina Russo’s Big Brown Box (2000) or Dana Kessimakis Smith’s Brave Spaceboy (2005). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-112322-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2006

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