From Publishers Weekly
Plourde and Couch pick up where they left off with the autumnal Wild Child, this time featuring a boy who personifies winter. The fantasy is more complex and abstract than the previous title and may well puzzle more than challenge or entertain youngest readers. When small Winter in his Wee Willie Winkle hat wants his father's attention, Father Time answers, "Just a minute, big guy./ My work's not done." His father ignores him until Winter presents him with a spectacular snowflake, at which point Father Time, with a "tear in his eye," agrees to play. As he gives Winter a goodnight kiss, he acknowledges the lesson he's learned about making time for his son. Couch's frosty paintings are both dazzling and inventive. Wheels and clock parts surround Father Time's cubist moon face; stars and planets encircle his head like a halo. But the arresting images and sophisticated artwork may be as confusing to youngsters as the text. Unfortunately, Plourde's problematic story seems to suggest that the only surefire way a child can get his father's attention is to impress him. Despite the use of playful nonsense words that fill out the rhythm (father and son "wristle and wrestle" and they "rizzle and romp"), the book's message seems addressed more to workaholic fathers than to children. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-When Mother Earth sees Winter bouncing on the bed, she sends him off to find Father Time, who says that he is too busy to play. Winter finds ways to pass the time: painting the grass with frost, carving ice sculptures, and cutting out snowflakes. When Father Time's work is done, the two wrestle in the sky, causing a blizzard below. As father and son settle in for a cozy nap, Mother Earth tiptoes past, on her way to wake up Spring. Plourde's rhyming text flows well and the language trips off the tongue: "He snizzes and snips/lacy designs./Sprools and sprinkles them/on meadows and pines." However, Couch's sumptuous illustrations are the real attention-grabbers here. Using acrylic paint and colored pencils, the artist creates a beautiful frosty landscape out of deep blues, purples, and whites. Each small touch, from Father Time's half-night/half-day face to Winter's impishly pointed icicle of a nose, adds to the otherworldly feel of the artwork. Anyone who has ever recognized the quiet magic of a snowy day will feel right at home with these atmospheric paintings. A lovely mood piece about a perennially popular topic.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, Eldersburg, MD
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.