Gr 2 -4 -- A collection of 25 proverbs, some illustrated singly and others utilizing double-page spreads to depict several adages at once. All are artistically arranged and designed to engage viewers. Many familiar favorites are here, such as ``Look before you leap'' and ``Every cloud has a silver lining.'' Unlike Betty Fraser's First Things First (HarperCollins, 1990), which gives an explanation of each entry on the same page, this volume explores the meanings in a glossary and allows readers to ponder them and come up with interpretations of their own. Kneen's dainty illustrations have an etheral quality. Framed on each page, but sometimes spilling out of the borders, the artwork brings to mind delicate Wedgewood china (not surprising, since the illustrator also designs motifs for Wedgewood). An attractive presentation. --Joyce Richards, Prairie Grove Elementary School, AR
This very attractively illustrated picture book showcases 25 proverbs that are probably familiar to older readers if not to young children. The artwork, "peopled" with dressed animals, explains the proverb. For instance, "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry," shows a group of mice happily eating cheese taken from a mousetrap while a cat peeks around the door. The wording sometimes sounds a little off, but proverbs are, after all, an oral tradition. Kneen explains the meaning of each proverb in a two-page section at the back of the book. Though hearing 25 proverbs in a row is as wearying as hearing any other 25 pieces of sententious advice all at once, the narrative artwork makes the process as pleasant as it can be. English teachers will find lots of uses for this one.