Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Un-Brella Review: (Kirkus Reviews / March 1, 2007)

When a little girl decides the weather isn’t to her fancy, an “un-brella” helps to magically change one season to another. In the midst of a wintry scene, this Dora the Explorer look-alike with large, round blue eyes and pigtails and wearing a swimsuit and flippers, opens her un-brella to create a summery luscious green and daisy-covered path through the frigid white snow-blanketed landscape, replacing falling lacy snowflakes with the warm glow of the sun. Similarly, her un-brella will undo the summer’s heat with an icy or snowy trail she creates dressed in her winter coat and skates. Imaginatively reversing seasons may be the way to cope on severely cold or hot days, and this wordless story succeeds in demonstrating a bit of intrigue and originality. Franson offers plenty of details in his geometric and multi-dimensional style collage of seasonal scenes made with foam or textured paper cut-outs in pale hues of blues, lavenders, greens, yellows and white. The open-ended conclusion will spark some think-aloud moments. What will the little girl do when the rainy sprinkles descend on a spring night? One can imagine an auburn-colored autumn pathway of falling leaves. A visual diversion.

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