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Dear World


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About the Author

Takayo Noda is a collage artist, printmaker, writer, and illustrator. She was born in Tokyo, Japan, and studied at Gakushuin University in Tokyo. She started showing her work publicly in 1981 and has received numerous awards.


K-Gr 3-In a series of short poems, this book exudes a sense of joy and wonder in the world around us. In a child's voice, the lyrical verses praise, question, and hope for many things. Each selection begins with a salutation as a note or a letter, as in the wish for an old car without wheels: "dear car- you will not need wheels/if you have wings/I wish you wings/in your dream tonight." The verses do not always follow the path that readers might expect (the poem to the trees asks them to choose their favorite of the youngster's five tree-house designs), yet they are perfect in the way they capture the creative and whimsical ruminations of a child. The warmth and love shine through not only the text, but in the illustrations as well. In bright and colorful cut-paper and watercolor collages, each scene comes to life. Small, square houses with triangle roofs; chunky trees with big, individual leaves; hearts; stars; and flowers repeat throughout, establishing this world as comfortable and familiar. The design makes the volume a good choice for both individual reading and sharing. The left-hand quarter of each spread features one poem against a white background, leaving the remaining three-quarters filled with the corresponding art. There are no rough edges or jarring notes in this marvelous offering.-Genevieve Gallagher, Orange County Public Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Intricate, multidimensional cut-paper collages outshine disingenuously childlike poems in this picture book debut. Each poem addresses its subject directly, in the second person; for example, "Dear Fish" includes the lines "you are/ red/ I am/ red/ everything is/ red/ in the sunset/ it is magic/ I wish you a magical swim." The sophisticated riffs on the color red in the accompanying illustration-a sunset view of a canal or river lined with small houses-stand in contrast to the flatness of the text's repetition. Like the other collages, it is full of texture, shadows and complicated designs. Colors are subtly shaded, images overlap and some appear to float within separate picture planes. Yet, whether the illustrations depict angry thunder and lightning or the sadness of a child lamenting a lost turtle, the art looks uniformly cheerful. Birds perch on clouds, golden-haired angels fly amid falling snow ("Dear Snow/ I see you/ spinning and dancing/ just like angels in white/ I know/ you want me to make/ a tall fat snowman") and heart-shaped trees flutter under a heart-shaped moon (in "Dear Valentines," the narrator has eaten a box of heart-shaped chocolates "by mistake" just before bedtime). The twinkling eyes, hearts, flowers and happy rainbows suggest an overly simplistic world. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Exudes a sense of joy and wonder . . . .Warmth and love shine through not only in the text, but in the illustrations as well . . . (School Library Journal, starred review)

Noda's images are luminous . . . her pictures marry dreamlike perspectives . . . with deep jewel colors. (Booklist)

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