To and Fro: Fast and Slow

Overview

The rhythms of a young girl's life, as she moves between her mother's country home and her father's city apartment, are perfectly captured in this beautifully illustrated early concept book.

Durga Bernhard manages to seamlessly blend a simple book of opposites and an exploration of city and country life, with the deeper story of a girl finding her place in the two new homes her parents have created for her. No matter where she is, or how ...

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Overview

The rhythms of a young girl's life, as she moves between her mother's country home and her father's city apartment, are perfectly captured in this beautifully illustrated early concept book.

Durga Bernhard manages to seamlessly blend a simple book of opposites and an exploration of city and country life, with the deeper story of a girl finding her place in the two new homes her parents have created for her. No matter where she is, or how different the environments are, it is clear that both homes are filled with love.

The deceptively simple text is the perfect counterpoint to the richly detailed and innovatively designed gouche illustrations. Thoughtful and energetic, To & Fro, Fast & Slow takes a gentle look at divorce and pays tribute to any child who lives in two worlds.

Author Biography: Durga Bernhard has illustrated several books including A Ride on Mother's Back and Trouble. She is also the author of Earth, Sky, Wet, Dry: A Book of Nature Opposites. To & Fro, Fast & Slow is her first book for Walker & Company. Durga lives with her daughter and son in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

A girl who is shuttled between the homes of her divorced parents observes such opposites as "over, under," "rainy, sunny," and "full & empty."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With the simplest of rhyming texts and evocative illustrations, Durga Bernhard's To & Fro Fast & Slow, a companion volume to Earth, Sky, Wet, Dry, tells the story of a child living in two worlds. The contrasts emerge through split illustrations; on the top of one page, for instance, the children travel "south" through grassy pastures and, on the bottom, "north" amidst teeming city streets. On a split spread, the girl goes "back & forth" between mom's garden and, opposite, dad's brownstone, teaching a lesson not only about language but life as well. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-K-This unusual concept book begins by contrasting the two worlds in which a young girl lives. "South" is printed above a mid-page horizontal line, and mother and daughter are shown driving along a country road. Below the line, the text reads "& north," with father and daughter illustrated in a cityscape. The following page portrays Dad delivering the child to her mother's place in the country. Opposite, Mom is taking her to Dad's city apartment. The texts read "back" and "forth," respectively. "Work" and "play," a double-page spread, is divided in half, with work at Mom's shown on the left top and work at Dad's on the right. "Play" is similarly treated on the bottom of the pages. Some of the other opposites illustrated are: rainy/sunny, sad/funny, in/out, fast/slow, low/high, noisy/quiet, and night/day. "To" and "fro" are cleverly done as a spread, with the little girl sitting on a swing in a city playground. On the final page the child is shown greeting Mom's dog "hello" and giving Dad's cat a "good-bye" hug. In each scene, the daughter and her parent are portrayed in engaging, primitive-style, gouache illustrations. This engaging book is best shared one-on-one to appreciate the soft hues and warm, cozy details.-Karen Land, Greenport Public School, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Balancing city and country scenes, this is a collection of opposites, both stated and unstated. The city features neon lights, traffic, tall buildings, people, and shopping, while the country is filled with nature, houses, few people, picnics, and children playing outdoors. Two large words and an ampersand on each page are the only text, but even this sometimes get lost on the busy pages, as not all of them are against solid backgrounds. The format of the book varies, beginning with easily discernible splits between top and bottom, and left and right. It gradually progresses to spreads that feature a complete set of opposites on both pages, as well as spreads divided into fourths that mix and match opposites. Several of the pairs are rather difficult to portray pictorially-"back & forth," "to & fro," "hello & good-bye"-and children will have difficulty determining the action in these pages. In addition, the very first pair, the stereotypically urban north and rural south, are on a page split in half . . . south is on top, and north is on the bottom. The softly-colored illustrations are the strong points, filled with minute details such as the spider web hanging from the rural mail box, and the subway grating and trash cans peculiar to the city. The same young girl is featured throughout, pictured with her father in the city scenes, her mother in the country. Unfortunately, Bernhard's second foray into the world of opposites is less successful than her first (Earth, Sky, Wet, Dry, 2000). (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802787828
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 10/1/1901
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.92 (w) x 10.54 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


south & north

back & forth

over under

work & play

rainy sunny

sad & funny

in & out

night & day

to & fro

fast & slow

full & empty


Excerpted from TO & FRO FAST & SLOW by DURGA BERNHARD. Copyright © 2001 by Durga Bernhard. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


JOHN MARSHALL
Definer of a Nation


By Jean Edward Smith

Henry Holt and Company

Copyright © 1996 Jean Edward Smith. All rights reserved.
TAILER

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