Tuesday, June 24, 2008

METAL MAN * Starred Review

Yay, Metal Man has received a Starred Review from The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books! The Issue will be out in July / August.

"Makin' junk out of junk" may not be Mama's idea of a proper job, but it's endlessly fascinating to young Devon, who spends his free time hanging out in the workshop of sculptor Mitch, whom he dubs Metal Man. [...]

Hoppe's mixed-media illustrations supply the heat and burly muscle the text demands. A controlled hodgepodge of broad brushstrokes and squiggly pencil lines, detailed representations of Mitch at work, and subtle backdrops of simplified forms and diminished colors all invite close, lingering inspection. [...]

Mitch is variously portrayed as a mystery man, a sometimes giant, larger-than-life idol, or an accessible friend, just as Devon views him. He looms over Devon in their initial conversation, abates in size when they work side by side at the table saw, and fills a full two pages as a grinder-wielding titan, bringing out he shine in the metal (and, metaphorically, the boy) that was under there all the time. [...]

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