Reviews for Where Once There Was a Wood


Horn Book Guide Reviews 1996
Accompanied by her lustrous handmade paper illustrations, Fleming's brief text describes the many creatures who once lived in a wild area but whose homes have been destroyed by a new housing development. Fleming includes an afterword that describes the things families can do to create new backyard habitats for birds and animals. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 1996 April
~ Already a favorite of preschoolers, Fleming (In the Small, Small Pond, 1993, etc.) takes an appreciation of the natural world a giant step further. Rhythmic verse--``Where once there was a wood/a meadow/and a creek . . . sit houses side by side/twenty houses deep''--demonstrates that there was another sort of community before people arrived, ``where once the brown snake/slithered and slipped out of sight.'' An ecology lesson it surely is, but it's also a celebration of the earth and its creatures. Illustrations in vivid jewel-and-earth tones appear on handmade paper; the woods, creeks, and meadows are clean and inviting, and, bringing balance to the presentation, the new houses are not without their charms. The lively back matter, titled ``Welcome Wildlife to Your Backyard Habitat,'' offers substantial, easily executed suggestions for encouraging wildlife around the home; it's information just right for family and classroom sharing. Perfect for Earth Day observances, a book that's as welcome as spring. (bibliography) (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2000 May #4
PW called this plea for the conservation of wildlife habitats "a beautiful call to action." Ages 4-10. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2000 May #5
PW called this plea for the conservation of wildlife habitats "a beautiful call to action." Ages 4-10. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1996 April #3
This ardent plea for the conservation of wildlife habitats contains some of Fleming's (In the Small, Small Pond; Lunch, see p. 70) most accomplished artwork ever. Her paintings, composed of richly dyed and textured cotton rag fiber, sustain an emotional but controlled intensity. Through a combination of earthy browns and grays, occasionally splashed with bold yellow, red and blue, Fleming depicts a graceful natural world that she fears is disappearing. In the form of a single brief verse, she accompanies her art with a chronicle of creatures displaced by a newly erected housing development, "where once the heron fished/ and speared his glittering food.../ sit houses side by side/ twenty houses deep." Four well-designed pages follow the text with specific, practical suggestions about how communities and and individuals can help "welcome wildlife" to a backyard habitat. Addresses for further information and useful, anecdotal hints are also included. A beautiful call to action. Ages 5-10. (Apr.) Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1996 June
PreS-Gr 2 Fleming's unique illustrative style provides an exciting backdrop to this distinctive, environmental picture book. The simple, hand-lettered text introduces the wild creatures and plants that once thrived in a wooded area, before their displacement by a housing development. Art, text, and design are creatively matched. Lush, textured collage artwork features a stunning combination and arrangement of colors with brilliant hues juxtaposed against muted earth tones. It is remarkable that the gentle, poetic narration is never overpowered by the pictures. Instead, a graceful rhythm is established as the natural habitats are explored. The tempo accelerates when animals are observed in action. The final two pages provide a dramatic conclusion as the text switches from free-flowing to deliberate. The illustrations change as well, presenting a sharp contrast between the beauty of the natural habitat and the stark symmetry of roof lines and window frames. Suggestions for creating backyard habitats and brief directions for establishing butterfly and hummingbird gardens are appended, along with information about the National Wildlife Federation and a list of related books. A book to be shared with and enjoyed by a wide audience. Sarabeth Kalajian, Venice Public Library, FL Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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