Books by Jackie Mims Hopkins

Released: March 1, 2013

"Nevertheless, good fun to share in a lap or with a group. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Mary McBlicken is one panicky prairie chicken. Read full book review >
OUR TEXAS by Jackie Mims Hopkins
Released: Feb. 1, 2010

"The great state of Texas is waiting for you. / Come travel the land and meet people, too. / Then pick a direction—north, south, east, or west— / and you can decide which parts you like best." So begins this rhyming introduction to 16 Texan sites and cities, from Amarillo ("There are plenty of cattle, but few armadillo") to Big Bend National Park. Laudatory and cliché-riddled as a promotional brochure, the short stanzas (one per spread) promise visitors cowboys and cattle, grapefruit and roses in faltering, sing-song rhymes: "Due west in the desert is grand old El Paso, / where tumbleweeds whirl through as swift as a lasso." The limited text often tries to convey too much, too perkily, and just ends up baffling. (The eight-page appendix fleshes out each entry, if readers persevere.) Spearing's full-bleed colored-pencil illustrations on textured paper sometimes have a static, paint-by-number look, especially the people. Sweeping rural and urban landscapes contrast with boxed insets highlighting Texas icons from oil wells to a portrait of Sam Houston. A bumpy ride through the Lone Star State. (Informational picture book. 7-10)Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2006

With folktale characters crowding the supporting cast, a sturdy heroine sets out to rustle up some gold to save her mine, house and hand from an oily banker in this elaborately staged—if not particularly well-knit—potboiler. Opening and closing in a lavishly appointed theatre before an all-animal audience, but otherwise set amidst dusty western hills, the play sends intrepid Gracie Pearl to town in a desperate search. There she finds that evil Bigglebottom, the banker, has seized the Golden Goose, tricked Rumpelstiltskin into a violent departure, sicced his trio of bears onto Goldilocks and for good measure tied three pigs to the railroad tracks for nonpayment of housing loans. None of these figures play any significant role, however; they just act as filler until, when the banker returns to claim his due, Gracie Pearl fights back so hard that the ground cracks and up comes a "black gold" gusher. Rebuses in the text provide visual cues for hissing and cheering, but Goodell's elaborately detailed scenes will likely be a stronger draw for young readers. A good try nonetheless, and a natural for fans of the likes of Lisa Wheeler's operetta Seadogs (2004), "staged" by Mark Siegel. (Picture book. 7-9)Read full book review >