ANGEL TO ANGEL

A MOTHER'S GIFT OF LOVE

Myers (Brown Angels, 1993; Glorious Angels, 1995; etc.) has gathered another collection of vintage photographs of African-American mothers and children, with a few fathers thrown into the mix, and a good number of solo shots of babies, young gentlemen, and young ladies. Some of the photographs have the date and place inked in with antique penmanship, or the imprint of the studio, sending readers spinning back in time. The array of expressions becomes a message of love, while the stances, clothes, and settings envelop that message. As in the other books, Myers pairs sepia photographs with his verse, and the success of many entries depends on the age of the reader, e.g., the sentiments of “Speak softly in the morning/And light it with your smile/You will soft-speak ‘Mama’/And I will soft-speak ‘Child’ “ may be lost on the young. When Myers writes in a droll mode, almost everyone will be entertained: “ ‘You can’t just leave them like you do collards.’/Mama mixed corn bread in a pan./‘I can’t stand no mushy greens, mushy rice/Or a preacher without a plan.’ “ (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 30, 1998

ISBN: 0-06-027721-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1998

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ALL THE COLORS OF THE EARTH

This heavily earnest celebration of multi-ethnicity combines full-bleed paintings of smiling children, viewed through a golden haze dancing, playing, planting seedlings, and the like, with a hyperbolic, disconnected text—``Dark as leopard spots, light as sand,/Children buzz with laughter that kisses our land...''— printed in wavy lines. Literal-minded readers may have trouble with the author's premise, that ``Children come in all the colors of the earth and sky and sea'' (green? blue?), and most of the children here, though of diverse and mixed racial ancestry, wear shorts and T-shirts and seem to be about the same age. Hamanaka has chosen a worthy theme, but she develops it without the humor or imagination that animates her Screen of Frogs (1993). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-688-11131-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1994

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DINOSAURS GALORE!

A dozen familiar dinosaurs introduce themselves in verse in this uninspired, if colorful, new animal gallery from the authors of Commotion in the Ocean (2000). Smiling, usually toothily, and sporting an array of diamonds, lightning bolts, spikes and tiger stripes, the garishly colored dinosaurs make an eye-catching show, but their comments seldom measure up to their appearance: “I’m a swimming reptile, / I dive down in the sea. / And when I spot a yummy squid, / I eat it up with glee!” (“Ichthyosaurus”) Next to the likes of Kevin Crotty’s Dinosongs (2000), illustrated by Kurt Vargo, or Jack Prelutsky’s classic Tyrannosaurus Was A Beast (1988), illustrated by Arnold Lobel, there’s not much here to roar about. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-58925-044-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2005

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