Come to the Fair

Janet Lunn, Author, Gilles Pelletier, Illustrator
Janet Lunn, Author, Gilles Pelletier, Illustrator Tundra Books (NY) $15.95 (24p) ISBN 978-0-88776-409-7
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Comfortably conveying the timelessness of a country fair, Pelletier's (A Happy New Year's Day) folk-art-style paintings are the high point of this spotty volume. Vivid shades of warm colors--including the bright orange of a curiously hued sky--dominate full-bleed paintings depicting the Martin family's tour of the fairgrounds. Opposite each painting, the text chronicles stops at the kickoff parade, food and craft tents, sulky races, cow- and pumpkin-judging and a country-music concert. Given his technique, some of the artist's human and animal figures are expectedly stiff, but seem ill-suited to such a lively event; it's also difficult to spot the Martins within the panoramic view of events. Lunn's (The Root Cellar) text often comes off as wordy or flat (""It's so hard to look at all the delicious food set out for the judges and not to be able to eat it""). Weighing pictures and narrative, this balances out to a less thrilling visit than Lewin's recent Fair! (reviewed June 9). The publisher is also releasing a simultaneous French edition, Allons a la Foire. Ages 6-9. (Oct.)
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