Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Starlit Snowfall by Nancy Willard, Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator) and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jerry Pinkney

A Starlit Snowfall
Title: A Starlit Snowfall by Nancy Willard, Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator)
Genre: Children
Publication Date: 11/7/11
"My cave is big enough for two!" a bear declares to a rabbit, inviting his small friend to share his den through the longest, coldest season. The rabbit readily accepts the bear's offer, but no sooner have the two curled up than the lively rabbit jumps up to wonder: Wouldn't it be better to be out in the crisp winter air, free to leap through the starlight and the sparkling snow?
In this paperback reissue of a long out-of-print winter tale (originally titled A Starlit Somersault Downhill), Caldecott Medal winner Jerry Pinkney's rich watercolors create a cozy winter world that perfectly complements Newbery Medal winner Nancy Willard's charming poetry.
My take: I love this book. The book is based on an unlikely friendship between a hare and a bear as the snow covers the ground. The bear is ready to hibernate in a nice, safe cave. The hare joins the bear but soon grows restless. While one sleeps, the other keeps leaving to play and explore. Beautiful prose and illustrations complementing one another.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Title: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star 
Author: Jerry Pinkney
Publication Date: October 10, 2011
One of the most acclaimed children's book illustrators of our time now takes his legendary skill with watercolor to new heights in this lavish visual adventure. As a curious little chipmunk leaves his nest to greet the twilight, he gazes at the glittering sky above him. He can't help but also notice the sparkling dewdrops on a spider's web, the lights of the fireflies, and the shimmers of moonlight on the water. "How I wonder what you are!" marvels the tiny creature, launching a dreamlike quest to reach for the stars.
Inspired by one of our most popular children's lullabies, Jerry Pinkney's gentle world--where the loving arms of nature embrace us despite darkness or uncertainty--is perfect for easing little ones into dreamland.

My take: The point of this simple rhyme is not really to cause wonder but to lull a child into dreamland. Pinkney fails miserably on this level. The usual nursery rhyme is presented with beautiful illustrations which could be forgiven except that the prose continues and the chipmunk embarks on a journey to explore the sky and the star with continued interesting detailed illustrations.

On the other hand, if the point of the book and prose is to impress and teach reading skills, along with enjoyment of excellent artistic ability, Pinkney's book is a wild success.


Fairday Morrow said...

A Starlit Snowfall sounds like a delightful book. My nieces and nephews will love it.

Thanks for sharing!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

these both look so lovely! thank you for sharing!