Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil

Kirkus Review (April 1, 2010)
An exuberant and intriguing way to answer Grandma's questions about school. The young girl narrator starts with her teacher, whose voice is "as sweet as candy (except when she is very excited)" and who smells "lovely as flowers." These and other attributes of the teacher are illustrated with found objects: blue flower-shaped buttons, plastic letters, a piece of hard candy in a red wrapper. On the next page, against a bright, fuchsia background, there is a portrait of the teacher: Her face is a chalkboard, her mouth is that piece of candy, her hair is the jumble of letters and so on. The girl's best friend has a sharpened-pencil mouth and a plastic microscope for a nose. Each figure--including the librarian, the art teacher and Sofia, "the wildest girl in my class"--is created on a matte gouache background with body and features made of collaged photographic images of these familiar objects. Great, inventive fun. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)

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