All Ears, All Eyes

Richard Jackson, illus. by Katherine Tillotson. Athenuem/Dlouhy, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-1571-2
Using words that glint and sparkle, Jackson (In Plain Sight) captures human perceptions of the forest at twilight. Lyrical (“as light falls and night rises”) and warm (“Nature’s ark glows”), Jackson’s fragmentary lines suggest a dialogue between two voices—an adult and a child?—and their observations create a darkness that is inviting, mysterious, and full of life, without being threatening. “What scoots between roots?” asks one voice as a porcupine scuttles past a towering tree. Spots of light suggest moonlight amid the dark greens, blues, mauves, and lavenders of Tillotson’s (Shoe Dog) artwork, making the environment easier to discern and the animals identifiable—an owl on a branch, a fox darting between tree trunks, a mouse on a limb. In other scenes, Tillotson concentrates on the way that the deepening twilight allows for only ghostly glimpses of the nearby creatures, like the silhouette of a cat that walks right in front of the reader (“Where? There! Shhh”). There are no fireworks, no high-flown language—just an immediate and vivid connection to the living world. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2017
Release date: 03/07/2017
Genre: Children's
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