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Reviews

Before Morning
Starred review: Horn Book Magazine, July/August 2016

"Krommes’s illustrations do the narrative work, and a series of wordless spreads at book’s end provides a sweet balance to the front matter’s opening scenes, slowly easing the reader out of this mesmerizing book."

Starred review: Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2016

"Like a snow day, a special treat with broad appeal."

Starred review: Booklist, September 1, 2016

"It is rare in picture books to find words and art so perfectly matched, though perhaps not surprising given the talents of Newbery Honor–winning Sidman (Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, 2010) and Caldecott winner Krommes (The House in the Night, 2008). Each phrase in Sidman’s spare text evokes the heart and the senses (let “the earth turn to sugar”), while Krommes’ scratchboard art is so intricately rendered, so full of story, that each page could be investigated dozens of times."

Starred Review: Publishers Weekly, October 2016

"The story’s parallel but separate threads—the innocent images of the poem, the cheery reassurance of the illustrations, and the tension of the family’s wait—give this collaboration significant emotional depth."

Starred Review: School Library Journal, October 2016

"This simply perfect book is a must-have piece of portable poetry and art for all collections."

Starred Review: The Bulletin, October 2016

"The poetry is brief but lovely, giving voice to many youngsters’ dreams of a blanket of snow; the art’s creation of a plot gives narrative weight to the verse, while Krommes’ intricate scratchboard illustrations lend a pleasing toylike quality to the rounded figures and stylized landscape."

Blue on Blue
Starred review: Publishers Weekly, June 7, 2014

"Krommes’s nostalgic scratchboard and watercolor spreads bring newcomer White’s clipped verse to life...[her] primitive folk art gives a sense of the rhythms of life and nature that recur from season to season, year to year."

Starred review: Kirkus, August 1, 2014

"Folk-art-inspired illustrations, astonishing in both their technical accomplishment and their heart, harmonize beautifully with lyrical language."

Starred review: Booklist, August 1, 2014

"The scratchboard-and-watercolor pictures expand the text with its country vistas and bring the intensity of storms close to home in the family scenes, offering more to see on each reading. A joyous, pelting, dripping celebration."

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature
Starred review: Publishers Weekly, September 19, 2011

"Krommes creates spiral-packed nature scenes that have a timeless, classic beauty. Whether she's portraying a tiny curled eastern chipmunk or a classic funnel tornado, it's clear that nature isn't the only master at work."

Starred review: Kirkus, September 15, 2011

"Exquisitely simple and memorable."

Starred review: School Library Journal, October 2011

"Another first-rate volume from the author and illustrator of Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow (Houghton Harcourt, 2006)."

Starred review: Booklist, September 1, 2011

"The striking scratchboard illustrations use black lines, shapes, and crosshatched shading on white backgrounds to create strong compositions, while watercolor washes add subtle warmth and brilliance."

Starred review: Horn Book Magazine, September/October 2011

"From the endpapers that gather together all the spirals depicted to the spiraling text on the title page verso, this book is elegantly constructed, and as poetry, picture book, or nonfiction, a success in every way."

The House in the Night
Starred review: Kirkus, April 1, 2008

"Krommes's breathtaking scratchboard illustrations, in black and white with accents of yellow and gold, embody and enhance the text's message that light and dark, like comfort and mystery, are not mutually exclusive, but integral parts of each other."

Starred review: Booklist, April 15, 2008

"A beautiful piece of bookmaking that will delight both parents and children."

Starred review: School Library Journal, April 2008

"It is a masterpiece that has all the hallmarks of a classic that will be loved for generations to come."

Starred review: Publishers Weekly, May 12, 2008

"Using only a few graceful words per page to illuminate the dark, this bedtime gem shines its light clearly on things that matter--a home filled with books, art, music and ever-present love."

 Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow
Starred review: The Horn Book magazine, Sept./Oct. 2006

"Krommes's scratchboard illustrations are splendid — though stylized and decorative, they reflect such precise observation that each species is easily recognizable. An elegantly conceived, beautifully integrated volume."

Starred review: Kirkus, Aug. 3, 2006

"A top-drawer blend of art and science."

Starred review: School Library Journal, Oct. 2006

"This book is a handsome and versatile compendium, melding art, poetry, and natural history."

The Hidden Folk — Stories of Fairies, Dwarves, Selkies and Other Secret Beings
Starred review: School Library Journal, Dec. 2004

"Handsome scratchboard illustrations decorate the pages with stylized figures and landscapes."

Kirkus Review, July 15, 2004

"These small, delightful tales are fabulously illustrated by Krommes's scratchboard pictures. She fills the linear patterns inherent in scratchboard design with rich and brilliant color, at once cozy and majestic."

The Sun in Me — Poems About the Planet
School Library Journal, March 2003

"Krommes's extraordinary scratchboard-and-watercolor illustrations extend the mood of each poem. A book to warm the soul of any poetry lover."

Publishers Weekly, March 2003

"Created first on scratchboard, then photocopied and brushed with watercolors, Krommes's art fairly bursts from the pages."

Kirkus Reviews, Feb. 2003

"The illustrations are gorgeous..."

The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish
Starred review: The Five Owls, March/April 2001

"The illustrations by Beth Krommes are stunning scratchboard art that capture the spirit of the Inupiaq culture."

The New York Times Book Review, April 15, 2001

"Beth Krommes's exquisite scratchboard art work has the textured look of old woodcuts, and is rendered in a subtle, naturalistic palette of black and white, shaded with hues of ochre and soft moss green.

Grandmother Winter
Starred review: The Five Owls, Sept./Oct. 1999

"Like the folktales that inspired this simple nature fable, the reader is left with a sense of the rightness of things, the circle of life returning. Winter is blessed--as are we, the readers."

The Bulletin, Oct. 1999

"At home, at school, or at the nature center, with or without hot chocolate, this is a warm, satisfying read."

Kirkus Reviews, Sept. 1, 1999

"The text's quiet rhythms find perfect resonance in the crisp, idyllic colored scratchboard country scenes."