As each season unfolds its wonders, a loquacious, mercurial ibis announces to his reticent egret friend that this is his favorite season: ``With long lines of pelicans skimming the wave tops and small groups of sandpipers piping the shore, with the marsh in full green and the sun bright and warm . . . don't you think summer is your favorite time?'' But with each change of season comes a change in conviction: ``I think autumn is my favorite season. . . . With the light on the water and the marsh turning golden.'' The muted palette of Sabuda's ( Saint Valentine ; I Hear America Singing ) pastels echoes the thoughtful, quiet nature of the text. But, more importantly, they impart an extra dimension to the feathered characters of this sparely told story, adding dramatic tension. Evoking a quiet, still appreciation for nature, this book may quell the day's bustle and provide a gentle segue into sleep. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-An ibis and an egret muse about the cycle of seasons as it affects the inhabitants and the environs in their marsh home. Although they declare each season their favorite, the ibis questions why they stay on when they have seen them all. Egret reminds his friend to be still and watch the new life each year brings. "`...you and I, Ibis, can see more than others. So be still, dear Ibis, be quiet and still.'" Pastels in dark, earthy shades picture the transformations thoroughout the marshland, capturing the essense of natural beauty undisturbed by humankind and pollution. A satisfying look at a habitat, a segment of the world unknown to many children, as well as the miracle of seasons.-Virginia Opocensky, formerly at Lincoln City Libraries, NE
Janice Del Negro
Ibis and Egret have a continuing conversation on the merits of each season, with Ibis enumerating each beloved detail and Egret quietly agreeing. When Ibis asks why they stay in one place while everything changes around them, Egret replies, "Be still, dear Ibis. Be quiet and still. And watch while the seasons bring new life our way. For the ducks and the land birds, life is all springtime. Crabs never know winter. All the sun knows is day. But you and I, dear Ibis, can see more than others. So be still, dear Ibis, be quiet and still." Sabuda's pastel illustrations energize Owen's gentle mood piece. Their strong composition and dramatic lines reflect the movement and changes of the birds' natural environment as they support the quiet, reflective tone of the text.