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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dusk, Uri Shulevitz

From the Publisher:
One December afternoon, boy with dog and grandfather with beard take a walk to watch the sun begin to set over the river. When the sun drops low in the sky, they start home. Buildings grow dimmer. People are rushing. As nature's lights go out, one by one, city's lights turn on, revealing brilliant Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Christmas displays in streets, homes, and stores. A stunning picture book that's sure to be a winter holiday classic by Caldecott Medalist Uri Shulevitz.

Pros: I'm not sure how I came across this book by Uri Shulevitz, but it may have been the cover that drew me in. It's so bright! I love Shulevitz's use of color. He begins near sunset and moves through to darkness and then goes back to light, but with everything lit by electricity until it's again, "as light as day." Students can never get enough holiday books, and the fact that this one includes depictions of Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanza  - in a light-handed, not at all overdone way -  will give this book even broader appeal. Much of the text of this book is good for beginning readers (dialogue from the visitor from Zataplat notwithstanding), as it repeats, rhymes and uses short sentences.  

Cons: I felt that the sentence structure might be too simple in some places, leading to confusion for readers with better fluency. It doesn't sound like they might be expecting. It's a good opportunity to talk about style and word choice, though.

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