Maestro Plays
by Martin, Bill; Radunsky, Vladimir (ILT)

Ingeniously combining rhyming verse and word play, the author of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? presents an entertaining, brightly illustrated introduction to the wonders of the English language.

Bill Martin, Jr. (1916-2004) was an elementary-school principal, teacher, writer, and poet. His more than 300 books, among them the bestselling classicsBrown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?; Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?; andChicka Chicka Boom Boom, are a testament to his ability to speak directly to children. Martin held a doctoral degree in early childhood education. Born in Kansas, he worked as an elementary-school principal in Chicago before moving to New York City, where he worked in publishing developing innovative reading programs for schools. After several years, he devoted himself full-time to writing his children's books. He lived in New York until 1993, when he moved to Texas. He lived in the east Texas woods, near the town of Commerce, until he passed away in 2004.

Vladimir Radunsky is the prize-winning artist of The Pup Grew Up!, Hail to Mail, andSquare, Triangle, Round, Skinny. The pictures for The Maestro Plays were created in hand-colored cut paper.

~ Two maestros play here-one with words, the other with color, form, and space-in what is one of the most visually emphatic picture books of the year. Previously published in 1970, with illustrations by Sal Murdocca, Martin's (Old Devil Wind, 1993, etc.) catalogue of adverbs swoops and soars: ``The Maestro plays PROUDLY. He plays LOUDLY...He is playing ringingly, wingingly, swingingly, flingingly, tingingly...leapingly, cheepingly, faster, faster,'' closing at last to thunderous applause. Radunsky's illustrations are made with cut paper, but they look painted: A clown and other figures composed of a few simple, generally rounded shapes tumble through huge fields of astonishingly bright, pure colors and artfully placed but legible text. The effect is circus-like, a vertiginous celebration of sound and color. (Fiction/Picture book. 3-7) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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