Reviews for Big Picture
Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 April 1998
/*Starred Review*/ Ages 4^-7. Zelda and Ivy are young fox sisters; Zelda, the older, is the boss, and Ivy is the bossee. Each of the three vignettes shows Zelda working some big-sister hocus-pocus on little Ivy. In the first chapter, Zelda and Ivy are playing circus, and Zelda says she will choose and announce the tricks. At Zelda's urging, "fabulous Ivy on the Flying Trapeze" tries to balance herself on her tail--and fails with a thump. In the second chapter, Zelda convinces Ivy that all the hippest foxes are painting blue stripes on their tails. In the last tale, after Zelda tells Ivy that magic dust under her pillow will allow her a wish, Ivy asks the universe for a baton--just like the one Zelda has. A chastened Zelda makes Ivy's wish come true, but she soon figures out a way to get the upper hand once more. Marvelously true to life and tinged with sly wit, the stories will be viewed knowingly by both big and little sisters, who'll see themselves here. Kvasnosky not only has a way with words; her illustrations are delightful, too. The thickly applied gouache artwork captures every wry moment, and not since Kevin Henkes has an artist been able to do so much with so little--the slight curve of a smile or dot of an eye. Fun with some bite. ((Reviewed April 1, 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
In three episodic stories, fox sisters Zelda and Ivy's independent personalities take center stage. The first tale has Ivy worried she'll be scared at the movies; in the second, the sisters (plus pal Eugene) decide to become spies; finally, a thunderstorm thwarts plans for an outdoor sleepover. Bold colors--fox red, deep purple, and gold--reflect the characters' strong, confident attitudes. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 1998
In the first two chapters of this dead-on-target exposT of siblinghood, older sister Zelda reigns supreme when playing with younger sister Ivy; in the third chapter, there is a power shift (temporary, of course) as Zelda's know-it-all big-sister tactics backfire and she has to be much, much nicer to Ivy than she was ever truly mean. Kvasnosky's illustrations of the two young fox siblings are as spirited and full of life as her very funny text.Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2010 #5
Zelda and Ivy, the foxiest sisters in children's literature, are back to entertain the Not Quite Ready for Chapter Books set. As usual (see Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways, rev. 7/06), their independent personalities take center stage in three episodic stories. When Ivy goes to the cinema to see Secret Agent Fox with Zelda and their friend Eugene, she's worried she will get scared; instead, it's big sister Zelda who's spooked and chants the advice she'd given Ivy -- "It's just a movie, it's just a movie." The trio decides to become spies: after scoping out neighbor Mrs. Brownlie (why is she wearing goggles?) and forming a hypothesis (how about that for a concept in a beginning reader?), they join Mrs. B. for lemonade and cookies -- and learn the answer to the mystery. A thunderstorm thwarts plans for an outdoor sleepover, but a little ingenuity allows them to create the experience inside, s'mores and all. The bold colors, fox red, deep purple, and gold, reflect the characters' strong, confident attitudes. Like James Marshall, Kvasnosky deftly tweaks her pen-and-ink lines to express each character's emotions. betty carter Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 1998 #4
Zelda decides that she and her younger sister will play circus; she is the announcer, and Ivy is the performer of increasingly death-defying, Zelda-dictated tricks. Surprise! Ivy falls off her swing. Zelda is there to comfort her, in her fashion: "Don't worry...I have trouble with that trick, too." Next, Zelda says, "Let's doozy up our tails like movie stars" (Zelda and Ivy are foxes), but only Ivy's tail is painted, scalloped, and beglittered. When it's Zelda's turn, she says, "Maybe some other time." In the first two chapters of this dead-on-target exposť of siblinghood, Zelda reigns supreme; in the third chapter, there is a momentary power shift as Zelda's know-it-all big-sister tactics backfire and she has to be much, much nicer to Ivy than she ever was truly mean. But only temporarily-this is, after all, a realistic story. Kvasnosky's illustrations are as spirited and full of life as her very funny text. The playfulness of the book's design-backgrounds painted in bright gouache colors, a different color for each chapter; borders breached by tails, noses, swings, and twirling batons; big square pictures alternating with action-progressing panels-is grounded by the forthright, vigorous pictures. Bold black outlines and rough-hewn textures infuse the art with energy and lend each form an appealing solidity. Kvasnosky has Kevin Henkes's gift for communicating a wealth of emotion through the dot of an eye or the angle of a tail-and big and little sisters everywhere will identify with every jaunty swish and nervous droop. m.v.p. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews 1998 May #2
In this insightful look at sisterhood, two young foxes take different approaches to playing. The mildly traitorous Zelda takes advantage of Ivy, her gullible younger sibling. Ivy, on the other hand, indulges her sister and wears a look of quiet dismay when things go wrong. In the first of three chapters, Ivy pretends to be a trapeze artist, and ringmaster Zelda tests her with increasingly difficult tricks. Next, when Zelda suggests a make-over, Ivy is her trusting victim: "Zelda cut scallops into Ivy's fluffy tail.... `Shall I scallop your tail?' asked Ivy. `Wait until I'm done,' said Zelda." Yet, as Ivy well knows, her big sister has a big heart. At the conclusion, Ivy's wish for a silver baton "just like yours" prompts Zelda to anonymously (and somewhat reluctantly) donate her own prize toy. Kvasnosky (Mr. Chips) shows that age has its advantages (Zelda owns the baton and gets the top bunk) as well as its responsibilities (Zelda gives Ivy the baton because of her remorse). Gouache images pair waxy black outlines with warm, crayony colors. Kvasnosky's clean draftsmanship of the foxes, with their arrow-shaped faces, black-dot eyes and tiny fox toys, recalls Kevin Henkes's mice, and the true-to-life childhood situations recall Henkes as well. Rare for a book about siblings, its sympathies reach out to readers regardless of their birth order. Ages 5-9. (May)
School Library Journal Reviews 2010 September
Gr 1-3--Three new, entertaining episodes about the fox siblings, just right for beginning readers. On entering the movie theater to see Secret Agent Fox, Ivy expresses anxiety about viewing the loud and scary parts, but her big sister offers reassurance. Once the action scenes begin, Ivy and her friend Eugene are enthralled while Zelda spends lots of time on the floor looking for a vague "something" as she chants "It's just a movie, it's just a movie." In the next chapter, the young foxes choose secret agent names and investigate their neighbor Mrs. Brownlie, who is suspiciously wearing goggles. When she discovers the trio behind her hedge she invites them to join her for freshly baked cookies. Eugene marks the "case closed" when the woman mentions that the gear protects her eyes while she mows the lawn. In the final episode, the friends nearly cancel their campout when it begins to rain, but Zelda states: "Just like a good secret agent, a good planner always has a backup plan....We're going to camp IN." The distinctive gouache resist illustrations add lots of humorous details and textual clues for beginning readers. A wonderful addition to the series for existing fans or new readers.--Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI [Page 129]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 1998 June
Children everywhere will recognize and relate to these three stories that take a gentle, humorous look at sibling dynamics. Ivy is a guileless young fox and Zelda is her bossy big sister. In "Circus Act," Zelda assumes the role of master of ceremonies ("I'm the oldest") and spurs Ivy on to attempt ever-more daring feats on a swing until she takes a spill. In "The Latest Style," Zelda thinks up a variety of ways for the two of them to "doozy up " their tails "like movie stars" using Ivy as a model. In the final vignette, Ivy desperately wants a baton just like her sister's and Zelda tells her to put fairy dust under her pillow and wish for one. The wish comes true, or seems to, when Zelda places her own baton under Ivy's pillow. The energetic gouache-resist artwork features bright colors, homey scenes, and priceless expressions achieved with a minimum of line. Doozy up your shelves with Zelda and Ivy. Luann Toth, School Library Journal Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews