Monday, March 5, 2012

Kite Day

Kirkus Review (February 15, 2012)

In this breezy kite affair, the adorable duo of Bear and Mole is back again, reveling in nature. Blue sky and a gusty day make for one ebullient Bear. Huffing home he gathers Mole to commence the kite-making. Together they collect, cut, construct--and find success with their kite until dark clouds appear. A broken string and a spool unspun leave the two racing through rain after a rainbow tail. But urgency turns to quiet joy when their loss (a broken kite) becomes a bird family's gain, as it shelters fledglings from the storm. Simple sentences, often three words or fewer, describe the action, while Hillenbrand's illustrations wonderfully animate the text. The artwork, digitally manipulated pencil with water-based coloring, has a lovely softness; the characters, with their plumpness and simplicity, are extremely appealing. Sophisticated compositions are cinematic or sequentially kinetic, cleverly matching the author's playful use of onomatopoeia. Muted tones that begin the tale give way to darker and more dramatic hues, creating a powerful shift, both visually and emotionally. This gentle and charming read-aloud will make young audiences "awww" with delight. (Picture book. 3-6)

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