In this stunning collaboration of two exceptional talents, the striking charcoal illustrations and nimble text reveal what happens at night when the gargoyles come to life.
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Eve Bunting has written over two hundred books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz, The Wall, Fly Away Home, and Train to Somewhere. She lives in Southern California.
Kindergarten-Grade 3-What child hasn't looked at a sculpture or creatures carved in stone and wondered what would happen if they came to life? Bunting's canny phrasing and Wiesner's ominous black-and-white illustrations answer the question perfectly. When night comes, the gargoyles on a museum building come alive. They "gargoyle-hunch" with friends around a fountain, "rumble-laugh" at the night watchman, and resume their stone facades with empty eyes unblinking when morning arrives. If anyone could bring gargoyles to life pictorially, it's Wiesner. High-rise angles and perspectives are peopled with pigeons and squirrels; light is played against dark, forming menacing shadows; spreads and panels zoom in on narrow and wide-angle views; all creating a delicously eerie, spooky scenario. The brief text cunningly induces liveliness and wit with well-honed word choices: "they grunt of what they've seen...they grump of summer passing...they boom those gargoyle laughs that rumble thick because there is no space inside their solid stone for laughs to somersault." This is not for very young children, but it's sure to have enormous appeal for older audiences. From stony-eyed stares to their merry scorn of humans, it's gargoyle gleefulness.
Julie Cummins, New York Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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