Puddle Pail

Elisa Kleven, Author
Elisa Kleven, Author Dutton Books $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-45803-6
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Ernst, a gentle blue crocodile with his head in the clouds, gives his imagination a real workout in his second picture book (after Ernst). While his pragmatic older brother, Sol, takes joy in collecting such earthbound trinkets as feathers, stones and seashells, Ernst would much rather try to harness the stars. He settles for collecting puddles, which magically reflect all the beauty around them. When a thirsty dog shows Ernst just how fleeting his puddles are, he discovers a way to capture their splendor for keeps. Watercolors and bits of painted cut paper joyfully join forces in Kleven's (Abuela, see p. 211) rainbow-bright collages. The matter-of-fact text wanders a bit, but the slightly discursive style is ultimately suited to Ernst's dreamy personality. Ernst's artistic triumph serves as an inspiration to young readers. Ages 3-8. (June)
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