Sunday, January 23, 2011

More Red Wagon

Another lovely review, Yipee!

This review is from the Jan 19, 2011 edition of Shelf Awareness

A trip to the market with the titular Red Wagon in tow becomes a flight of fancy thanks to Renata Liwska's (Little Panda) visually imaginative illustrations for her playfully tongue-in-cheek text. When Lucy, a small red fox with a bow on her head, asks her mother if she can play with her "brand-new little red wagon," her mother responds, "Sure, you can use your wagon to go to the market." What at first seems like a chore to Lucy quickly gives way to an adventure. Her squirrel and porcupine friends hop in ("It was pretty heavy"), and when it starts to rain, the horizon line tilts and empties into a roaring ocean. The humor arises from a narrative that plays straight man. "By the time she got to the bottom, it was really coming down!" says the text, while the red wagon serves as a hull for a sailing vessel. Lucy and her crew attempt to rescue a raccoon with a hook for its left paw, floating in an umbrella with a skull-and-crossbones flag affixed to the handle. A covered (red) wagon takes them on the next leg of their journey (10-gallon hats, a sheriff's badge and bandannas complete the picture), and when "at last, Lucy arrived at the market!" the covered stalls look suspiciously like circus tents (with fruits and vegetables to be juggled and spun). Even though Lucy is too tuckered out to "play" when she gets home with all the items on her list, youngsters know that this little fox made the most of her errand. Pure delight.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Red Wagon's first review!

Wow, I don't know how I can top last year, but I will give it my best, and 2011 has started well so far. Starting with THE QUIET BOOK returning to the New York Times Bestseller's List at #4!

In other news, I have received the first review for RED WAGON, and it's a good one (whew!) a starred review from Kirkus.
As the writer and illustrator I am doubly nervous about how my book will be received.

Red Wagon by Renata Liwska

Starred Review
A mundane task fills with delicious thrills.

Lucy asks permission to play with her new red wagon, so mom agreeably sends her to market with it—but, hmm, "That sounded like a chore. Lucy didn't want to do chores." Never fear; this journey is anything but dull. Adroitly pairing innocently understated prose with pictures of simple but imaginative adventures, Liwska invites readers to giggle at Lucy's impressive escapades that unfold entirely visually. When the rainy countryside becomes a roaring ocean, the wagon's a sailboat riding cresting waves. The wagon also becomes a rocket ship, a train, a construction-site truck and a covered wagon. At the carnival/circus (market), "Lucy neatly loaded the wagon with vegetables from her list"—by juggling them with help from a trapeze flyer. The illustrator's pencil work is nimble, her backgrounds airy and free, with hatched grasses for these child animals—cousins of her characters in Deborah Underwood's Quiet Book (2010)—to romp in. The colors glow softly. Red wagon's last role? The perfect nap-spot for a girl all played out.

A winner. (Picture book. 2-5)

The review is from here :

Now only a month and half until it get's to the critics who matter the most, children and parents - and other readers too!