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Cynthia Rylant: Criticism and Reviews

Children of Christmas was reviewed by Carol Otis Hurst in Teaching K-8 Magazine.

A Fine White Dust was reviewed by Carol Otis Hurst in Teaching K-8 Magazine.

The Relatives Came was reviewed by Carol Otis Hurst in Teaching K-8 Magazine.

When I was Young in the Mountains was reviewed by Carol Otis Hurst in Teaching K-8 Magazine.

Additional criticism and review of Cynthia Rylant's works can be found at your local public library.

The following reviews can be accessed online only by an individual who has a current library card through this address.

"Rylant on Writing: A Talk with 1993 Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant."
Critic: Ron Antonucci.
School Library Journal 39, no. 5 (May 1993): 26-9.

"In this interview, Rylant answers questions about why and how she writes children's books, her influences, and her thoughts about illustration."

"The Booklist Interview: Cynthia Rylant."
Critic: Ilene Cooper.
Booklist 89, no. 19-20 (1-15 June 1993): 1840-1841.

"In this interview, Rylant talks about winning the Newbery Award and some of the personal experiences that influence her writing."

"Cynthia Rylant: A Quiet and Reflective Craft."
Critic: Heather Vogel Frederick.
Publishers Weekly 244, no. 29 (21 July 1997): 178-179.

"This essay draws on an interview with Rylant to provide biographical information and short commentaries on many of her books."

"A Review of Wedding Flowers."
Critic: Lauren Peterson
Booklist 98, no. 12 (15 February 2002): 1015.

"Fans of this sweet Cobble Street Cousins series may recall the first book, In Aunt Lucy's Kitchen (1999), in which Rosie, Lily, and Tess meet Michael Livingston, a young man who has a secret crush on their Aunt Lucy. Now, a year and five books later, Michael is about to become their uncle…"

"A Review of The Wonderful Happens."
Critic: Kirkus Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 68, no. 21 (1 November 2000): 1550.

"In free verse, Rylant marvels at commonplace occurrences, from the hatching of a baby bird to the nightly emergence of luminescent stars. Her simple words are imbued with a sense of reverence for life in its many manifestations. The mundane mingles with the miraculous as she ponders …"

"A Review of The Islander."
Critic: Kirkus Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 66, no. 3 (1 February 1998): 200.

"A young man learns to accept love and loss in this resonant novel… Daniel was only a boy when his parents were killed in a plane crash and so his grandfather, who lived with him on the remote island of Coquille, off British Columbia, became his guardian. Rylant suggests that it was perhaps because Daniel was so numbed by grief that he was more open to the extraordinary occurrence of his chance meeting with a mermaid. Through the mermaid's gift of a key, which vibrates whenever Daniel is near a wounded animal, he learns that he is a natural healer; later, as the key leads to the recovery of Franny, a young girl who is lost, Daniel discovers, of course, that the key unlocks his own heart…"

"Review of Night in the Country."
Kirkus Reviews 54, no. 4 (15 February 1986): 307.

"'There is no night so dark, so black as night in the country,' begins this quiet, lyric text (Night in the Country) about what goes on outside when people living in the country are tucked into their beds. Against a rich midnight-blue sky, readers see…"

"Review of Birthday Presents."
Critic: Zena Sutherland
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 41, no. 3 (November 1987): 56.

"There are many picture story books about the physical and motor skills that take place in the first years of a child's life. Here, presented with a light touch and an affectionate tone, is a testament to the child's developing…"

"A Review of Gooseberry Park."
Critic: Ilene Cooper.
Booklist 92, no. 3 (1 October 1995): 320.

"Rylant's latest (Gooseberry Park) gets off to a slow start: an introduction to the nesting instinct in humans and squirrels -- squirrels because Stumpy the squirrel is having babies and needs to find a place for them all to live…"

Henry and Mudge: The First Book of Their Adventures.
Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble: The Second Book of Their Adventures.
Critic: Denise M. Wilms.
Booklist 83, no. 17 (1 May 1987): 1370.

Henry is a boy and Mudge is his large -- no, make that giant -- dog. Together, they are the stars of the stories in these first two offerings in what looks like an early-reader series…"

"Review of The Dog Heaven."
Critic: Roger Sutton.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 49, no. 2 (October 1995): 67-8.

"Cynthia Rylant often walks a fine line between the lyrical and the sentimental; how you feel about her first self-illustrated picture book might depend on how you feel about dogs and heaven. The Dog Heaven portrayed here is…"

"A Review of Cat Heaven."
Critic: Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst School Library Journal 43, no. 10 (O
ctober 1997): 108-09.

"Cat Heaven sounds like paradise. A rhyming text describes a realm in which felines are fed from God's countertop, a place where they no longer get stuck in trees because now they can fly. There are thousands of toys, and soft angel laps in which to cuddle. There is even a quiet time to look back on former homes and loving people. The primitive, childlike painting style is…"

The Van Gogh Café.
Critic: Ellen Fader.
School Library Journal 41, no. 7 (July 1995): 80-81.

"The Van Gogh Cafe, in Flowers, Kansas, provides an original and intriguing setting for this story about the establishment's owner, Marc, his 10-year-old daughter, Clara, and the magical events that come to pass there…"

"A Review of Margaret, Frank, and Andy: Three Writers' Stories."
Critic: Ilene Cooper.
Booklist 93, no. 9-10 (1-15 January 1997): 854.

"Although this (book) works better as a bookstore item for sentimental adults than as a brief biography for young fans of Margaret Wise Brown, L. Frank Baum, and E. B. White, school libraries in particular may find some use for it…"

"A Review of The Cookie-Store Cat."
Critic: Kirkus Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 67, no. 9 (1 May 1999): 726-727.

"There is an ineffable sweetness in Rylant's work, which skirts the edge of sentimentality but rarely tumbles, saved by her simple artistry. This companion piece [The Cookie-Store Cat] to The Bookshop Dog (1996) relates how the cookie-store cat was found…"

"A Review of The Old Woman Who Named Things."
Critic: Mary M. Burns.
The Horn Book Magazine 72, no. 3 (May-June 1996): 328.

"Loneliness is a perennial problem whether one is eighteen or eighty; it simply comes in different guises at different stages. Many succumb; others triumph, as does the feisty old woman who, having outlived all her friends, resorts to naming the inanimate objects on which…"

"A Review of Give Me Grace: A Child's Daybook of Prayers."
Critic: Anne Parker.
School Library Journal 45, no. 12 (December 1999): 125-126.

"Similar to Rylant's Bless Us All: A Child's Yearbook of Blessings (1998), this vibrantly illustrated, appealing book contains one rhyming prayer for each day of the week. Each simply written verse has a different focus…"

"A Review of The Great Gracie Chase: Stop That Dog!"
Critic: Sue Grossman.
Childhood Education 78, no. 2 (winter 2001): 112.

"Gracie is a small, round dog who loves peace and quiet. When the painters come to redecorate the kitchen, she barks to tell them to go away. Instead, they put her outside. She discovers the gate is open and decides to…"

"A Review of Little Whistle's Dinner Party"
Critic: Sharon McNeil.
School Library Journal 47, no. 10 (October 2001): 130.

"Little Whistle lives in a toy shop. When the store closes for the night, the little guinea pig is always up for some sort of adventure with his toy friends…"

"Review of The Ticky-Tacky Doll."
Critic: Ilene Cooper.
Booklist 99, no. 1 (1 September 2002): 137.

"The young girl in this story loves her ticky-tacky doll, made from sewing scraps. It goes everywhere with her, even under the quilt at night. But when the girl starts school…"

"A Review of Christmas in the Country."
Critic: Kirkus Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 70, no. 21 (1 November 2002): 1625.

"Newbery Medalist Rylant and (Diane) Goode collaborate again for the first time since their Caldecott Honor Book, When I Was Young in the Mountains (1982). This offering also explores the experiences of a little girl who leads an…"

"A Review of The Case of the Missing Monkey and The Case of the Climbing Cat."
Critic: Anne Knickerbocker
School Library Journal 46, no. 8 (August 2000): 164.

"This new easy-reader series features detectives and best friends Bunny Brown and raccoon Jack Jones… Each case is presented in four chapters that set the scene, describe the circumstances, and…"

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