Discovered a children's book in a box of advanced readers--I should say that it says at the top that it is "a story for all ages," which is a little bit of a red light for me--but the cover illustration made me open it up.
It's called "Change," which is another red light for me. In fact, a lot of the book is a red light. Its theme is just too baldly laid out on the page. I don't think either child or adult wants to be spoonfed theme--it tastes too sweet.
That said, the story itself, the snake so afraid to lose her beautiful skin that she stops moving altogether, is good.
But the art! Lovely lovely lovely! The ink and gesso sketch-pad style is full of movement and the snake is sharp and alive in it. The coyote is fluid and detail-less, like a shadow, like an icon. Scary. Sumptuous.
An amazing bit of poetry with stars in a two-paged spread of the first encounter between snake and coyote. Not to mention the deep, tiny poetry of the snake's eye on that same spread.
Circle of sun, circle of moon, circle of snake: poetry. Shadows of birds and dartings of small animals: poetry. Cold nights filled with "other dangers": poetry.
Artist's name is Jeff Grader. Check it out here.
Eucalyptus, sycamore, peach, plum
1 day ago