Review of All Ears, All Eyes

All Ears, All Eyes
by Richard Jackson; 
illus. by Katherine Tillotson
Preschool, Primary    Dlouhy/Atheneum    40 pp.
3/17    978-1-4814-1571-2    $17.99    g
e-book ed.  978-1-4814-1572-9    $10.99

“An owl hoots in our dim-dimming woods. / Who-who.” As the sun sets 
in a forest, viewers must keep their senses alert to catch all the activity in 
Tillotson’s atmospheric pictures, glowing with saturated color, and Jackson’s impressionistic text. Illustrations done in watercolor and with digital techniques create a deepening twilight that camouflages all the creatures to which the text calls attention, using questions, labels, description, and onomatopoeia (“Crick-crick-crickets / chirring / in the thick-thick-thickets”). The woods get darker with each page-turn, and the words provide a subtle guide to what might be present on each page: “Fox, mouse, owl, bat, / this and that / (was that a cat?) / in our deep, dark woods. / Where? / There! / Shhh.” By the end, 
the sun has set, the moon has risen, and the woods and the book have both become quite dark, contrasting with the bright stars in the sky. Suited for the slow pace of bedtime, the text works most effectively when read with extra pauses, leaving time for looking and noticing.

From the January/February 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Julie Roach
Julie Roach

Julie Roach, chair of the 2020 Caldecott Committee, manages youth services at the Cambridge Public Library in Massachusetts. She also teaches children’s literature at Simmons University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science and at Lesley University.

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