From Publishers Weekly
Design and text coexist in perfect harmony in Tiller's and Sogabe's first book. A series of haikus describes a girl's autumnal visit to her grandmother's house, which smells "of cinnamon, mint, and mothballs." No domestic detail seems mundane: "The bathtub had feet / four big claws on which to stand, / a gleaming white bear." Presenting a truthful vision of the nearly idyllic rural setting, the girl reports her great-aunt checking the cellar "for snakes that coiled / on the damp dirt floor." Whether the heroine is feeding the cats, washing her hands at the cistern or listening to night activity outside, Tiller's crisp, restrained lines never stray from a child's sensibilities. The exquisite cut-paper illustrations mix bright and muted hues with subtle texture to evoke the warmth of indoors as well as the season's vivid beauty. Sogabe's solitary bathtub is just as affecting as her human and animal subjects; like Tiller, she illuminates the beauty of the everyday. In the tradition of Rylant's Night in the Country and Tressault's Autumn Days , Tiller and Sogabe's evocative collaboration is an elegant example of bookmaking that invites the reader in and exerts its powers memorably. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3-Echoing with memory and the crispness of autumn days, this poem in haiku form tells about a little girl's visit to her grandmother. Together, she and her sister explore rooms (parlors, porches, a library, and even a "narrow pantry that smelled of cinnamon, mint and, sometimes, mothballs"); discover a bathtub with "four big claws"; and visit the cellar, where Great-aunt goes first to check for snakes. The grandmother and great-aunt practically glow with affection for their young visitors, building them a fire and singing them to sleep. Meanwhile, readers are given a tour of the nighttime activities of the local creatures. Fireflies sparkle; foxes, raccoons, and badgers hunt for food. A tomcat prowls in the neighbor's yard. Frogs croak a lullaby to the fish sleeping in the pond. Sogabe's illustrations will be endlessly fascinating to readers. Each one was cut freehand out of a single sheet of paper, and backdrops of watercolored rice paper add just the right touch of color. The scenes feature incredible details such as Venetian blinds, jars of vegetables, ears of corn, and a string of garlic. Though not all grandmothers can offer such a delightful place to explore, Tiller has captured the priceless quality of all such visits-feeling completely at home while at the same time knowing that you are an extremely honored guest.Lisa S. Murphy, formerly at Dauphin County Library System, Harrisburg, PA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.