With wispy washes of layered watercolor and mixed media twining expressionistic feeling and key details, Dunleavy conjures a forest world to frame Elliott’s engaging poems about woodland creatures. A bear peeks out of a dim cave: “The shadow stirs/ in its musky den.” A bright smear perches on a branch: “Look! There!/ A flash of red/ in the spring/ green of the trees/ ...the scarlet/ tanager has returned.” Elliott’s clear language works to capture essential details—the tanager’s color, a skunk’s smell, a porcupine’s prickles—veering in tone from wondering sincerity to subtle humor (moose get a two-word description: “Ungainly,/ mainly”). Fifteen creatures are featured, each on a full spread. Concise notes at the end offer facts that build on each poem; for example, of the tanager: “These spectacular creatures are famous for being hard to spot, as they love to be high up in the forest canopy.” Pleasant and gently funny. Ages 3–7. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 12/05/2019 Release date: 04/07/2020 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.