From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-This rich and thoughtful book uses beautifully detailed artwork to bring new life to a familiar song. On the first page, the verse is printed on an illustration of the Earth with the repeated word "Turn!" encircling it. The focus of each of the following spreads is a large circle filled with small pictures. The verses are set along the edges, with contrasting ideas on either side ("a time to be born" on the left, "a time to die" on the right). Done in watercolor and ink, each of the round illustrations creates a cohesive whole, while its many sections tell small stories and reveal truths. The gutter divides each wheel in two, delineating between the opposing ideas of the verses. The tiny, detailed drawings fan out in all directions, forcing readers to turn the book around to view them. Some spreads are more dramatic than others: "a time of war" is illustrated with stark reds and grays, jagged lines, and images of sad children behind barbed wire and warriors in action. The illustration for "a time of peace" has rounded lines and brighter colors, and shows youngsters of all races holding hands and people enjoying quiet moments. Many details will beg for discussion, like the image of a hooded figure throwing stones at two retreating individuals. Accompanied by a CD with versions of the song by Seeger and the Byrds, this is a book for all collections.Jane Marino, Bronxville Public Library, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
K- Gr. 3. The words come from Ecclesiastes, the music from Pete Seeger, and Halperin provides distinctive artwork that truly fits the text. Halperin emphasizes the universality of the words in the book's design: a circle takes up most of each two-page spread; inside the circle are pictures of various shapes and sizes that illustrate the phrase printed on the side of the page. "A time to be born," in a half circle on the left, includes insets picturing an Asian mother playing with her baby; a father throwing his diapered son in the air; and, in a tiny square, a chick popping out of an egg. Some of the sentiments were more challenging to illustrate. "A time of hate," for instance, shows a child's foot kicking a dog, a swastika, and a mob. More inexplicably, there is also a picture of a bemused child with a gun and another showing two bucks locking horns, neither of which exactly says "hatred." Still, as kids inevitably turn the book around to see the art, they will find a lot to make them think. A CD of Seeger's song is enclosed. For another very different version of the text, pull out To Everything There Is a Season
(1999), illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved