When Janet explores a magical garden, with the help of the hummingbird she has met there, she discovers some of the garden's beautiful surprises. By the author of The Willow Umbrella.
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PreSchool-Grade 2-A vague, insignificant story about a girl's fascination with the "magic" that attracts hummingbirds to her neighbor's garden. From behind a fence, Jonna watches the woman next door observing some ruby-throated hummingbirds feeding in her flower-filled garden. Sneaking in to take a closer look, she mistakes a hummingbird moth for a bird, meets the neighbor, and agrees to return the next day. Widman's writing is occasionally poetic but, more often, it is overly metaphorical; darkness and fireflies come much too quickly in this story set in summer at "the time before twilight." The uneven text is echoed in Ransome's impressionistic oil paintings. The expertise evinced in lovely views of the bright flowers is hardly apparent in the often poorly proportioned bodies and distorted faces of the human characters. Unlike their real jewel-like counterparts, the birds that are seemingly the focus of this story appear in only three illustrations. This book lacks the substantive plot, lyrical text, and appropriate pictures found in such favorites as Jane Yolen's Owl Moon (Philomel, 1987), Julie Brinckloe's Fireflies (Macmillan, 1985), and Jane C. Aragon's Winter Harvest (Little, 1989; o.p.).
Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
As twilight falls, the ``hummingbird lady'' calls the hummingbirds to sip nectar in her garden before they fly to their nests at dusk. Then a child who's been watching over the fence comes into the garden and sees what looks like a last hummingbird near the porch light; the lady explains that this is a ``hummingbird moth'' (actually, a sphinx moth), and switches off the light so it's free to return to the garden. The best feature here is Ransome's lovely profusion of flowers--a nice balance between impressionistic vistas and realistic depictions of species (though it's a bit of poetic license to show these all together)--but his figures are uneven in quality. The child is sometimes awkwardly painted and looks too old for the story; there's a nice portrait of the blue-jeaned lady, but Ransome seems (not unreasonably) to find waving a petunia to attract the birds faintly foolish. A slight, somewhat implausible idyll. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 002792761X
Book Description Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX002792761X