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How Many Stars in the Sky?


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About the Author

Lenny Hort, author of How Many Stars in the Sky? and Tie Your Sock and Clap Your Feet: Mixed-up Poems (Atheneum), lives in Fort Lee, NJ. James E. Ransome's work has appeared in nearly fifty books for children, including The Creation by James Weldon Johnson, a Coretta Scott King Award Book; Uncle Jed's Barbershop, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; The Old Dog by Charlotte Zolotow; How Many Stars in the Sky? by Lenny Hort; and This Is the Dream by Diane Z. Shore and Jessica Alexander. His highly acclaimed illustrations for Let My People Go: Bible Stories Told By A Freeman Of Color won the NAACP Image Award, and his traveling exhibit "Visual Stories" is featured in libraries and museums throughout the country. He teaches illustration at Syracuse University and lives in Rhinebeck, NY, with his family.


PreS-K-- A young boy whose mother is away can't sleep. He goes outside in his pajamas and tries to count stars only to discover that houses, trees, and streetlamps obscure his view. His father can't sleep either, so they hop in the truck and go to the city in search of a better place to see the sky. As more lights surround them, fewer stars are visible; the one they see turns out to be an airplane. Although by now it's the middle of the night, the man heads into the country; here, the two are awed by stars too numerous to count. Ransome uses thick, visible strokes in his dense oil paintings that completely fill each large-format page. In general they present a nice variety of scenes to match the flow of the text, and the closeness between the black father and son is warmly portrayed. A fresh look at an age-old concept. --Martha Topol, Interlochen Public Library, MI

One warm summer night, the sky is full of stars and a boy can't sleep. His mama is away. After staring out of his window, wondering ``How many stars in the sky?'' he attempts to count them. Outside, he climbs up into his treehouse for a better view. Soon Daddy joins him, and the sleepless pair set out on a star-gazing odyssey--to the city and then ``deep into the country.'' Finally, ``too tired to drive anymore. . . we slept under the stars that night'' in the back of the pick-up truck. In this worthy addition to the ranks of stories featuring African-American characters, the lyrical rhythm of Hort's text is brought to vibrant life by Ransome's ( Do Like Kyla ) painterly illustrations. The almost-tangible richness of the summer night and its lush green foliage stands in striking contrast to the dark city streets with occasional flashes of neon light. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)

"The lyrical rhythm of Hort's text is brought to vibrant life by Ransome's painterly illustrations."--"Publishers Weekly"James E. Ransome's oil paintings complement Lenny Hort's poetic text perfectly."--"The Washington Post"A fresh look at an age-old concept. The closeness between father and son is warmly portrayed."--"School Library Journal

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