Books by D. Brent Burkett

REGGIE by Eve Bunting
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"How complicated could dishonesty be?" In this lesson-filled story, a boy finds out the answer. Alex (eight-years old) finds a balloon floating in the air right in front of him; attached to the string is a stuffed mouse sporting a red vest. Before he can figure out why, he is smitten with the little guy and names him Reggie. So attached is Alex that he tears down the stapled signs that offer a $5.00 reward for the return of the mouse and deceives his parents about the fact that someone is looking for it. Even when faced with the crying owner and the disapproval of his best friend, herefuses to do the right thing. Only when his own dog disappears does Alex realize what he must do. Despite Burkett's rich, atmospheric pen-and-ink illustrations and the comfortable large font, it's hard to see who will enjoy this moralistic and unbelievable tale. As hard as it is to see a third-grader attaching himself to someone else's stuffed doll, it is impossible to accept that this sweet boy would keep it, especially in the face of a reward and a bawling little girl. (Fiction. 6-9)Read full book review >
DREAM-OF-JADE by Lloyd Alexander
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

A savvy, sassy little cat causes quite a stir when she defies Chinese custom and law to teach the Emperor how to be a wise and happy ruler in this gentle, satiric tale of friendship. Kwan-Yu, Celestial Emperor of China and Embodiment of the Nine Heavenly Virtues, lives in lonely seclusion behind the walls of the Forbidden City. Burdened by boredom and duties, Kwan-Yu is at the mercy of his unimaginative, obsequious advisors until Dream-of-Jade, a white cat with green eyes, saunters into the sacred Throne Room and dares to sit on the Emperor's throne. When Dream-of-Jade protects Kwan-Yu from a falling ceiling tile, he rewards her with the title of Imperial Cat and their friendship takes off. Motivated by common sense and her wish to see Kwan-Yu "become the best of all rulers," Dream-of-Jade cleverly wriggles her way around imperial tradition to make her wish come true. Full-color impressionistic illustrations lavishly capture court life in ancient China as well as Dream-of-Jade's feline essence. Absolutely first-class storytelling with a remarkable little heroine. (Fiction. 7-10)Read full book review >