Books by Kenn Compton

ASHPET by Joanne Compton
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 15, 1994

The Comptons' ``Ashpet'' differs less from Richard Chase's version of this Cinderella variant than their Jack the Giant Chaser (1993) diverged from Chase's parallel tale; here, they simply change the ``witch-woman'' to an old neighbor called ``Granny'' and the king's son (a standard character in these mountain tales) to a doctor's son and omit Ashpet's further persecution and the punishment of the perpetrators, after her wedding. Their text reads smoothly, but the occasional touches of dialect aren't enough to give it the rich humor and verve of Chase's rendition. Storytellers will want to stick with Chase; however, young readers will enjoy this lively and accessible version, as well as Kenn Compton's big-nosed, comically exaggerated characters. Good source note. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-9) Read full book review >
GRANNY GREENTEETH AND THE NOISE IN THE NIGHT by Kenn Compton
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Oct. 15, 1993

In an agreeably Halloweeny spinoff of ``The Old Woman and Her Pig,'' Granny orders her cat to look under her bed to find out ``what's making that horrible, skin-prickling, hair-raising noise that keeps me from my book''; but neither the cat nor Granny's weary broomstick nor the troll under her stairs, the goblin in her bathtub, or any of the other creatures lurking around her house is biddable, despite her mounting litany. Finally she says ``BOO!'' to the bugaboo (who's busy baking teacakes), which frightens the bats, which scare the goblin...so that the cat chases the mouse out from under the bed and Granny can get back to her book. Nicely cadenced for reading aloud and equipped with comical cartoon-style illustrations with plenty of diverting haunted-house details, a lightweight story that's sure to please. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
JACK THE GIANT CHASER by Kenn Compton
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 15, 1993

Lifting the last episode of ``Jack and the Giants' Newground'' from Chase's Jack Tales (1943), the Comptons lead into Jack's exploits with a motif from the Grimms' ``Brave Little Tailor.'' Jack has hit seven catfish with a rock, but boasts that he's ``killed me seven with one blow!'' When his impressed neighbors send him off to deal with a troublesome (but gullible) giant, clever Jack's a match for him: challenged to haul the giant's bucket of water, he threatens to move the whole creek; in a knife-throwing contest, he claims he'll hurl the giant's knife over the mountain to his uncle, or not at all. When Jack reports that his larger kinfolk are coming, the frightened giant hides in a barrel that rolls down the mountain and breaks, and the giant runs away ``past the state line.'' As a non-gory, easily read update, this does pretty well; the tricks are much as they were in the source story, though the language is less colorful. The broadly comic, cartoon-style illustrations are lively and appropriate. Fun to share; older children may enjoy comparing this with Chase's longer tale and discussing the reasons for the changes. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-10) Read full book review >
LITTLE RABBIT'S EASTER SURPRISE by Joanne Compton
ANIMALS
Released: April 15, 1992

With his earnest efforts to ``help,'' Little Rabbit is a typical toddler, his disastrous mishaps only somewhat exaggerated. When he tries to decorate eggs as his dad (the Easter Bunny) does, he drops his egg and gets paint all over, but at least the egg survives. Patient Dad lets him go along on the important trip to get ready for the children's egg hunt; this time Little Rabbit spills all the eggs, then falls asleep while Dad hides them—and comes home again with his own special egg, which he has kept as a surprise for Mama. A gentle, satisfying story with appealing pictures in Easter egg tones, drawn with a childlike simplicity that matches the text. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! by Kenn Compton
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 15, 1991

A debut book that applies a familiar plot to Santa's post- delivery homecoming: after a search through workshop and house fails to turn up a single elf waiting up for him (though the reader can see them hiding in every picture), a disappointed Santa is preparing to turn in when the cat leads him to a surprise party, just for him. The story is unexceptional, but children will be amused by the good-natured, cartoon-like illustrations. (Note to new artist: Please draw clock faces more accurately!) (Picture book. 3-9) Read full book review >