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Hailstones and Halibut Bones


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About the Author

MARY O'NEILL knew from childhood that she wanted to be a writer. She began her career as an advertising copywriter and after becoming a partner in her own agency, she moved to New York. There she started to write children's books for Doubleday, of which Hailstones and Halibut Bones is the most famous.

JOHN WALLNER is the award-winning illustrator of more than thirty books for children. His many awards and honors include several ALA Notables, the Certificate of Excellence from the American Institute of Graphic Excellence(1080), and the American Writers award for best illustrator (1977).


Gr 1 Up-- O'Neill's classic collection of 12 poems about colors (Doubleday, 1973) has been re-illustrated by John Wallner. Gone are Leonard Weisgard's elegant, evocative illustrations that were washed with the color explored in the poem. Instead, Wallner has created montages of each poem's images and colored them with various hues of the featured color. The results do complement the moods of the poems, but one must wonder why, in a set of poems celebrating color, all but three of the people shown are white. Poems such as ``What is Brown?''--``Brown is as comfortable/ As love''--could create responses like Arnold Adoff's Black is Brown is Tan (Harper, 1973) . Instead, it is illustrated with three white children and two white men working. But after more than 25 years, the poems, like colors, still sing. ``For colors dance/ And colors sing,/ And colors cry--/ Turn off the light/ And colors die.'' Kudos to Doubleday for letting Hailstones and Halibut Bones continue to live. --Kathleen Whalin, formerly at Public Library of Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio

"An exploration in imaginative, evocative verses of the world of color and its relationship to the other senses."
--The New York Times Book Review (A Top Ten Distinguished Juvenile Book)

"Has inspired young poets all over the country."
--Publishers Weekly

"John Wallner has added rich drawings for this new edition, full of intense yellows, blues, orchids, and oranges. They complement O'Neill's whimsical poems."

"After more than twenty-five years, the poems, like colors, still sing . . . Kudos to Doubleday for letting Hailstones and Halibut Bones continue to live."
--School Library Journal

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