When No One Is Watching

Eileen Spinelli, illus. by David A. Johnson. Eerdmans, $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8028-5303-5
When the narrator of this poem-story is alone, “I cheer for myself as I race near the hoop/ I soar and I score with a dunk and a whoop!/ When no one is watching, I cheer.” But when people are around—even her family—she prefers to retreat to supporting roles (“I pass the b-ball/ to my classmate Tamar./ Tamar makes the basket—/ she’s always the star”) and hiding places (“I scrunch myself down/ and pretend I’m not there”). Spinelli (Cold Snap) doesn’t craft her poem as an apology—in fact, her stylish, cute heroine (Johnson portrays her with a riot of frizzy hair and wildly unruly shoelaces) has an equally shy and appealing best friend, and their obvious deep connection and comfort in their respective shy skins should be reassuring to anyone on a similar wavelength. The paper-bag palette and mottled texture of Johnson’s (Snow Sounds) mixed-media illustrations are somewhat chilly, but he effectively employs a multiple exposure technique to give the sense that his ostensibly retiring heroine has an exuberant inner life. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/10/2012
Release date: 02/01/2013
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.