Flannel Kisses

Linda Crotta Brennan, Author, Mari Takabayashi, Illustrator
Linda Crotta Brennan, Author, Mari Takabayashi, Illustrator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-395-73681-4
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-618-73752-9
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The simplest rhymes describe a snowy day of playing outside, with breaks to warm up over a bowl of hot soup or some freshly baked bread. Nostalgia dominates both Brennan's text and Takabayashi's (Rush Hour) cozy illustrations, in which the idyllic, plank-floored cottage is decorated with rag rugs, crocheted afghans and toys consisting of a puppet theater and rag dolls. While the text can be satisfying in its simplicity, the language lacks enough real interest to compensate for the absence of narrative. And it is so pared down that readers may need the illustrations to decipher the lines: while ""Pile snowballs,/ Small on fat./ Crown icy head/ With fuzzy hat"" is evident enough, ""Stove and table,/ Hard-packed chair"" requires the image of a tea party set-up around a stump to explain it. The wealth of detail and color in Takabayashi's densely patterned scenes counterbalances the spare text. While the book is essentially an affectionate composite of cliches about a snowy day, because the words are wrapped in scenes of such warmth and texture, this hand-sized volume may just be enough. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
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