Scarecrow) shows how, in debut author Ashman's words, "A home's a house, a den, a nest./ A place to play,/"/>

CASTLES, CAVES, AND HONEYCOMBS

Linda Ashman, Author, Lauren Stringer, Illustrator CASTLES, CAVES, AND HONEYCOMBS

With glorious acrylic paintings, Stringer (Scarecrow) shows how, in debut author Ashman's words, "A home's a house, a den, a nest./ A place to play,/ A place to rest./ A place to share,/ A place to hug,/ A home is someplace safe and snug" for a wide range of animals (including humans). Using a palette of deep, smudged hues, Stringer works her heady visual magic in two formats. Most of the illustrations are single-paged, womb-shaped vignettes on white backgrounds; in one picture, a beaver family waits in a cozy stick den for the arrival of father beaver, who swims in a swirled arc of blue-green, tree-fringed water that seems to cradle the home. In double-page spreads, the artist renders a monarch butterfly cocoon close-up, its luxuriant ripeness foreshadowing the being about to burst forth; in another, a sinuous, olive-green snail coyly slides away from view, all the better to display the hypnotic allure of its coppery, spiral shell. "There's no place like home" has been said many times and in many ways, but rarely so convincingly. Ages 2-5. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/19/2001
Release date: 03/01/2001
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