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Peach and Blue
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About the Author

Sarah S. Kilborne is a writer, singer, performer and activist. She graduated from Yale University with a degree in Philosophy and has been a fellow at the Five College Women's Studies Research Center. Her work has been featured on The Today Show, C-Span, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, Slate, The Daily Beast and more. She has appeared on TV and radio and at venues throughout the United States. She lives in upstate New York.

Steve Johnson was born in White Bear Lake, Minnesota and earned a B.F.A. in illustration from the School of Associated Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota. Steve's stunning illustrations have been seen in many magazines, but it was not until Knopf asked him to illustrate No Star Nights in 1989 that he began his career as a children's book illustrator. Since then, Steve and his wife Lou Fancher has collaborated on the illustrations and design on a number of notable children's books. They are currently among the most sought after of children's book artists. Steve and Lou fell in love with the My Many Colored Days manuscript at first sight, seeing in it an unusual opportunity to create something that is at once both childlike and sophisticated. Steve and Lou currently reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Reviews

K-Gr 2-An odd, farfetched story about a blue-bellied toad and a living, breathing, talking peach. The unlikely pair establish a deep, sentimental friendship after Blue assists Peach in falling from her branch. She wants to see the world, but it is she who helps Blue to view his pondside home in a fresh, new way. He propels her around in a leaf-lined bowl made of twigs and mud while she rhapsodizes about the ``harvest of colors'' that she beholds. Although the text is clear and well written, the story itself is too serious, saccharine, and self-consciously philosophical. Dark, well-composed paintings beautifully depict each stage of the low-key adventure. Blue is portrayed realistically, as are the natural surroundings, while Peach sports a somewhat ghostly face, making her look like a disembodied bald head. There is little here to appeal to children. Kate Spohn's Fanny and Margarita (Viking, 1993) is an overtly whimsical tale about talking fruit that intends to make readers laugh.-Valerie Lennox, Jacksonville Public Library, FL

"This old-fashioned tale of friendship radiates warmth and authenticity. In every respect, this is a standout title." -Booklist

"A romantic tale of love and friendship, set off by exquisite artwork." -Family Life

"There couldn't be a simpler, more straightforward, or more touching love story than this." -Family Fun

"For fanciers of old-fashioned children's books...romantic, lushly colored illustrations." -Publishers Weekly

First-time author Kilborne spins a heavily anthropomorphized tale of Blue, a boy toad, and the help he gives Peach. From high in her tree, she tells him: ``I wish I could see what the rest of the world is like.'' Though Blue thinks it's just ``all right,'' he plucks her from her branch and pushes her around in a twig toboggan. In a brief shift into rhyme, Peach exclaims over the ``beautiful colors'' she sees: ``the blue of your belly, of afternoon's sky,/ the brown of the bank, of the eider duck's eye.'' Both are happy, for she helps Blue see the world anew. Johnson and Fancher (The First Night) do their best with romantic, lushly colored illustrations; although the peach does get eyes, nose and mouth, the artists neither overemphasize nor deflate the tale's sentimentality. For fanciers of old-fashioned children's books only. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)

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