Books by Ana Lopez Escriva

Released: Oct. 8, 2002

Clothes make the man, or in this case a young fox, in newcomer Wollman's tale of an identity stitched into the fabric of a hand-me-down shirt. Andrew's brother Ernie has given him a bright-blue T-shirt emblazoned with a soccer ball. Andrew worships his older brother and his prowess on the soccer field. He looks forward to the day when he is big enough to join him. For the time being, the shirt will serve as his hopes and dreams and he never intends to take it off (though his mother does demand washing it once a week). But Andrew is growing and the T-shirt isn't. Soon enough his belly is poking out. Still, Andrew isn't about to forsake his talisman; it might look comical, yet it has just the kind of mojo needed as he practices his dribbling, blocking, and kicking that he has seen his brother do out on the field. Comes the day when Andrew has a chance to show his soccer skills; all that practice and all that growing has given him what it takes, and it has also given him the security to doff the T-shirt: no epiphany, simply the realization—and the kind of positive reinforcement conducive to such a gesture—that it is time to move on. Lopez Escriva's (Please Do Feed the Bears, p. 738, etc.) homey art gives Andrew the right measure of credulity and determination. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
PLEASE DO FEED THE BEARS by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: June 1, 2002

A family outing to the beach nearly ends in calamity when the youngest member decides to bring along his treasured bears. As Percy's family busily prepares for their trip, he discovers stuffed animals he cannot endure leaving behind. Percy's family explains that if they take his toys, they will have to leave something behind. Naylor's (Simply Alice, p. 496, etc.) tale gently exposes a child's comically skewered pragmatism; after all, Percy reasons, what can possibly be more important than one's favorite toys? Thus, while Percy collects his bears, he carefully disposes with what he deems the less important items for the trip. When his family discovers a quartet of bears neatly tucked into the cooler instead of food, it seems that everyone will have to go home early. However, Percy uses his unique brand of logic to solve this dilemma. Soon, four stuffed bears are perched next to the boardwalk with a sign reading "Please DO feed the bears," eventually affording the family a bountiful lunch. Escrivá's (How Can You Dance?, 2001, etc.) acrylic paintings adroitly tie into the tale, allowing readers in on the secret to Percy's packing, building the anticipation for the story's humorous climax. The density of the bold colors combined with sharply defined lines of the drawings produce vividly arresting illustrations. Naylor's wry tale reveals to readers both the shenanigans and solutions that are the result of ingenious thinking. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
SEYMOUR AND OPAL by Nicole Jussek
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

Seymour and Opal are brother-and-sister rabbits who have adjoining rooms; in fact, Opal must pass through Seymour's room to get to her own. All is fine until Seymour decides to charge a nickel each time Opal wants to go into her room. Opal meekly pays up until one rainy day when Seymour, with nothing to do, begs Opal to play with him. Then she is able to bargain for something she wants, but readers aren't likely to feel that justice has been served, since the ownership of the nickels isn't resolved and the only sign of give-and-take is more like ``taking advantage.'' The story is mildly amusing, the pictures very sweet and funny, but Opal's largely passive reaction to Seymour's extortion is puzzling. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >