A story in verse about a group of children who let their imaginations go so far that they scare themselves
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Grade 3-6 This poet's imaginative first book for children sometimes fascinates and sometimes disappoints, but is never less than interesting. ``Sometime/ the bus be's late/ and you have to stand/ in the streets and wait/ in weather ten times colder/ than a roller skate'' it begins, as a group of children are pictured waiting in the fog of morning. There is, however, more in the fog than transportation. A big green lion crouches near the bus stop, his very countenance so frightening that those who cross the bridge he guards sometimes run away to ``. . .pass /out on the grass/ and hide and peep.'' When the fog rolls back and they return, the bus is gone, but the lion, a statue, remains. The poem nicely captures the delightful game of scaring oneself and others. The rhythms of its language sing through the book, and its concrete images roll off the tongue except for a critical middle section concerning the lion, in which such abstract adjectives as ``declarative,'' ``supercilious,'' and ``imperturbable'' suddenly appear. These descriptions jar, as if suddenly a teacher had wandered into the text, wordlist in hand. Pinkney's pencil and watercolor illustrations, done in shimmery pastels, give each black child a distinctive characterization and capture the power and the mystery of the lion as well. Unfortunately, awesome though the lion may be, he does not seem to inspire much fear or even nervousness in the faces of the children. They may cover their eyes, but they seem more annoyed than anything else. These minor quibbles aside, this is an enjoyable exercise for the eye and the imagination. Christine Behrmann, New York Public Library
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Margaret K. McElderry, 1988. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110689504144