cover image To Everything

To Everything

Bob Barner. Chronicle Books, $14.95 (36pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-2086-8

Snazzy cut- and torn-paper collages set these famous verses from Ecclesiastes (""To everything there is a season"") rocking to a jazzy beat. While such eye-popping colors as fire-engine red, lime green and rain-slicker yellow ensure the lines can't possibly be read with the stentorian tones often foisted upon ancient poetry in general and the Bible in particular, Barner's (Dem Bones) images pin the words to concepts children will readily grasp. For ""a time to cry, a time to laugh,"" for example, readers see a solitary monkey perching sadly on the branch of a tree while a frisky crew of his compatriots romps on another bough; and ""a time to hold, a time to let go"" shows a pair of hands releasing a swarm of fireflies from a jar. A user's guide, complete with focus questions (""What are some ways people can work together to resolve conflicts?"") and suggested activities, seems superfluous. This interpretation is neither so dazzling nor so memorable as Leo and Diane Dillon's recent To Everything There Is a Season (Children's Forecasts, July 27), but it will please youngest readers. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)