No One But You

K-Gr 3—An omniscient narrator addresses readers directly, informing them that people experience things differently. Examples of direct sensory experiences abound, from feeling the rain and wind to savoring a strawberry. Ironically, the book opens with the statement that the most important things in the world are those that "no one can teach you or show you or explain." Then the rest of the book tries to teach, show, and explain those very things. The awkward text attempts to be general and specific at the same time. Every reader is meant to take personally a statement like "Only one person can notice the hum of a bumblebee on a lazy afternoon as he buzzes past your ear...and that someone is no one but you." The issue of who is being addressed may be further confused by the illustrations of realistic, individual children. The book's solemnity is unlikely to hold children's interest, and the odd mix of universal/individual focus may perplex them. In the end, readers may be left wondering why it matters that "no one but you" can experience these special moments, as the significance of such uniqueness is left unexplained. The tender oil paintings of thoughtful, nature-loving children of various ethnicities are full of life, but, along with the sentiments expressed, they are more likely to resonate with adults than with children.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Wood's poetic prose, sentimental but effective, invites young readers to savor their individual experiences while exploring the beauty and wonder of the natural world: "No one but you can feel the rain kiss your skin / or the wind ruffle your hair." Children of different ethnicities interacting with nature are the focus of Lynch's beautifully textured double-page-spread oil paintings.

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