The Wonder Thing

Elizabeth Hathorn, Author, Libby Hathorn, Author, Peter Gouldthorpe, Illustrator
Elizabeth Hathorn, Author, Libby Hathorn, Author, Peter Gouldthorpe, Illustrator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-395-71541-3
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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A prose poem with a riddle at its core makes up this picture book about an essential of life. What is the ``wonder thing'' that reappears on each page? Evocative phrases and half-sentences lead the reader from picture to picture in a round-the-world search for the answer, dropping hints along the way. Hathorn (Way Home) describes the myriad qualities of the ``wonder thing'': ``Good as gold,... Precious as air,... Powerful as rock,... Gentle as kisses.'' What could it be? Water, of course. After learning the solution, readers will be fascinated by repeat tours of Gouldthorpe's (When I Turned Six) detailed, vibrantly colored linoleum-block print illustrations, scrutinizing each cityscape or rural idyll for the presence of water in one form or another. A book sure to encourage children to think about the world around them. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
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