For Every Child
Caroline Castle, UNICEF. Dial Books, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2650-5
Published in association with UNICEF, this book presents 14 of the 54 principles adopted at the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and pairs each with illustrations by an international cast of all-stars. On the first spread, text beginning with ""Whoever we are, wherever we live, these rights belong to all children under the sun and the moon and the stars"" accompanies Rachel Isadora's picture of a multicultural lineup of children. Rendered in black and white, the children each hold an instrument in their hands, and above their heads hovers the ""music""--a brightly colored array of abstract shapes. On the next page, Henriette Sauvant supplies a surreal oil painting for ""Understand that all children are precious...."" Also represented are Babette Cole, with a sprightly watercolor and pastel composition featuring her signature slyly humorous nudies, and Jerry Pinkney, who crafts a contemplative seaside study. From John Burningham to Satoshi Kitamura, Shirley Hughes to P.J. Lynch, the artists present distinctly different styles. In theory, the range of stylistic approaches seems compatible with the global reach of the text; unfortunately, the striking differences tend to detract from the strengths of each composition. The work seems fractured, not in harmony with the unifying message of the text. All ages. (Jan.) FYI: $1.50 per book sold will be donated to UNICEF.
Reviewed on: 01/01/2001