The Marvelous Mouse Man) focuses on precise details associated with each season, while Wilton's (

RIGHT OUTSIDE MY WINDOW

Mary Ann Hoberman, Author, Nicholas Wilton, Illustrator , illus. by Nicholas Wilton. Mondo $15.95 (24p) ISBN 978-1-59034-194-0

With two brief lines per page, Hoberman (The Marvelous Mouse Man) focuses on precise details associated with each season, while Wilton's (Feathers and Fools) illustrations imagine the view from an unseen child's window, with broad expanses of color and flattened perspectives reminiscent of folk art. Elliptical turquoise strips, for example, suggest movement in the deep blue sky as concentric golden circles emanate from the sun ("Clouds sail in the summer sky/ Right outside my window"). A curlicue vine and flitting butterflies anchor the celestial image to the child's vantage point. Although the artist's unorthodox approach (his complex medium involves a concrete surface, fabric and other scraps secured by gesso, and the layering, sanding and reapplication of paint), the end result resembles that of smooth painted wooden surfaces, aged over time. On a later autumn spread, a sienna-hued squirrel dashes across a mud brown path surrounded by acorns and leaves so dark they seem more ebony than green, the imperfections on the surface lend a natural look. Throughout, each double-page spread is bordered in white, recalling the titular window frame. As Hoberman wraps up ("Summer,/ autumn,/ winter,/ spring,/ Right / outside / my window./ What brand new changes will they bring?/ Right outside my window"), Wilton introduces the girl narrator leaning out of her house, emphasizing the deeper implications of the poet's closing question. This lyrical offering is just right any time of year. Ages 3-7. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/29/2002
Release date: 05/01/2002
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