cover image The Story Goes On

The Story Goes On

Aileen Fisher, , illus. by Mique Moriuchi. . Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-59643-037-2

Newcomer Moriuchi's collages embrace the truths of nature's cycle of predation and prey, as explored in Fisher's (I Heard a Bluebird Sing ) matter-of-fact verse. The poet's stylish lines capture nature's small dramas: after a bug nibbles at a tender leaf, "with the stealth of a thief,/ a frog's sticky tongue/ flicks out at the leaf/ and snatches a meal.../ the bug comes to grief." The accompanying collage incorporates bold graphic shapes to startling effect: the frog's bubblegum-pink tongue crosses the gutter of the spread, and the bug lies splayed on its tip, its mouth a dismayed "O." Successive verses describe each creature providing food for the next. Moriuchi's creatures and plants, cut from printed materials and painted so the type is still occasionally visible, appear against green and azure backgrounds. Closer inspection reveals that her images contain fields of color worked with great care. The author and artist make no judgments. A swooping hawk looks earnest rather than fierce, and the snake it captures displays a philosophical resignation. Fisher's poem addresses dicey questions such as what happens to dead animals and describes how the process comes full circle ("And then in the soil/ made rich in this way/ a seed will start sprouting/ and growing some day"). Curious young minds as well as parents and teachers will appreciate this imminently palatable natural history lesson. Ages 4-7. (May)