Cynthia Rylant is the author of more than 100 books for young people, including the beloved Henry and Mudge, Annie and Snowball, Brownie & Pearl, and Mr. Putter & Tabby series. Her novel Missing May received the Newbery Medal. She lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Visit her at CynthiaRylant.com. Stephen Gammell is the beloved illustrator of more than fifty books for children, including Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman, which received the Caldecott Medal, and two Caldecott Honor Books: The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, Where the Buffaloes Begin by Olaf Baker, and The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate Our School by Judy Sierra. Mr. Gammell lives with his wife, Linda, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
PreS-Gr 2-The lively narration of performer Bonnie Kelly-Young combined with the complementary musical compositions of Chris Kubie add a touch of humor and realism to Cynthia Rylant's Caldecott Honor Book (S&S, 1985). When the Relatives Came is an hilarious account of a family's summer visit with their relatives from Virginia. The joyous reunion is excellently told by the narrator who changes her voice tone and pitch to capture the various differences of the southern and northern pronounciations of the younger and older relatives. The story has all the traditional elements which hallmark most family gatherings: kissing, hugging, eating, laughing, and reflecting upon treasured memories while creating new ones. Kubie's musical compositions lend a welcoming accompaniment to the text. For example, when the family enjoys a backyard picnic with the relatives playing their instruments, Kubie provides a harmonious tune that allows listeners to feel part of the celebration. This is an ideal source for parents, teachers, and caregivers who want to provide their children and students with a meaningful and humorous illustration of family life.-Veronica L. C. Stevenson-Moudamane, Mount Vernon Public Library, NY Tex (unabr.). 5 cassettes. 6 hrs. Recorded Books. 1999. ISBN 07887-3533-0 $45 (Rental: $13.50). Gr 6-10-S. E. Hinton's novel (BDD, 1980) is narrated by Jeff Woodman. Tex is being raised by his high school aged brother, and they are in a severe financial crisis., Tex has numerous other problems that will keep listeners interested: relations with girls, a jealous best friend, school pranks, a kidnapping, and a shooting. Written in the first person, Woodman assumes the role of Tex and enables listeners to feel for Tex and to understand the reasons behind his actions. The western drawl places us into the world of horses, motorcycles, and rodeos. His voice reflects the wide variety of emotions presented in the story. Tex's gradual loss of innocence and his increasing confidence are depicted, although at times he is still unsure of himself, just like a typical young adult. Woodman is especially effective at changing speed for emphasis. He hesitates when Tex has to think fast to stretch the truth to cover his actions, and reads quickly to heighten the drama. The timbre of his voice changes slightly to designate females. This is an excellent presentation of a popular book.-Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.