Reviews for When the Frost Is on the Punkin


Publishers Weekly Reviews 1991 December #1
This poem celebrates autumn and its changes in the rural landscape from a young farm child's point of view. Riley (1849-1916), the ``Hoosier Poet'' and author of another once widely learned and recited work, ``Little Orphan Annie,'' is most often remembered as a ``dialect'' poet. Contemporary children will need this helpful background--included in a brief afterword--in order to better comprehend his idiomatic verse here--words such as ``medder'' for meadow, ``hosses'' for horses and ``furries'' for furrows, though mellifluous, need explanation. Further, few children in today's increasingly urban landscape will understand the repeating phrase ``the fodder's in the shock.'' Employing her trademark soft shapes, Lang's handsome paintings adroitly evoke the season's richness with economical detailing and blocks of deep autumnal colors. They feature a contemporary child and/or her playful cat on each page and, while not providing a word-by-word reflection of the text, their interpretation will be an aid to understanding. Ages 4-6. (Nov.) Copyright 1991 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1991 December
Gr 3-5-- A respectful treatment of the poet's homage to autumn. Riley's words may seem affected to modern children (``The stubble in the furries--/kindo' lonesome-like, but still/ A-preachin' sermuns to us/ of the barns they growed to fill''), but Lang's bright, clean, graphic-style paintings capture the poetry of an autumn day in the country. Providing an unpredictable counterpoint to the narrative, she depicts a young girl as she awakens, does her chores, selects a pumpkin, and carves it. A helpful note on Riley's creative use of language and love of dialect is appended. Little Orphant Annie (Putnam, 1983; o.p.), illustrated by Diane Stanley, offers a more accessible introduction to Riley for children, but When the Frost Is on the Punkin , thanks to the joyous illustrations, is also worth meeting. --Kathleen Whalin, formerly at Public Library of Columbus and Franklin County, OH Copyright 1991 Cahners Business Information.

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