An animal walks the land, drinking up summer's green sounds--"the croak of toads, and all the little shiny noise grass blades make"--and in his footprints, winter falls. Who will bring the sound back? Striking paste-paper collages combine with a haunting, lyrical text in this timeless saga of seasonal change and the promise of renewal. Full color.
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DEBRA FRASIER'S debut picture book, On the Day You Were Born, has become a perennial classic for welcoming new babies and celebrating families. Her other books include Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster, A Birthday Cake is No Ordinary Cake, The Incredible Water Show, and Out of the Ocean. She was born and raised on the Atlantic coast of Florida and now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
``An animal that needed sound'' comes down to consume it entirely: as a leaping fish descends, ``the water died''; the animal ``drained the rustle from the leaves'' and ``drank till winter...[and until] It was finally tall and still, and he stopped on the highest ridge...and from there he walked on silently and began to starve.'' The world lies silent beneath the moon until at last a cricket's chirping initiates the renewal of sound, together with the life of ``our precious world.'' Stafford's language is fresh and muscular, his imagery compelling, though at first reading the imaginative leap from winter's silence to the seasonal cycle of death and rebirth is startling. Frasier provides sophisticated collages of simple forms cut from specially made striated paper, their predominantly somber tones brightened with fall's red and spring's green; ``the animal'' looks like a black polar bear. Altogether, the whole is more striking and unusual than attractive, the product of genuine talent yet somewhat labored. A BOMC selection. (Picture book. 4-8 & adult) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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