Books by Kimberly Marcus

Released: April 1, 2011

It all starts with a flea. When it lands on a scruffy dog, it initiates a series of encounters that lead to mad adventures. The flea bite causes the dog to jump wildly and land on a man. They both go flying into a mud hole and get caught in a rainstorm. When they get the remedy to stop the itch, the flea jumps to a cat and the next round of mayhem ensues. Told almost entirely in a simple aabb rhyme scheme, the book adds interest and enthusiasm via onomatopoeia and mild expletives executed in large, bold upper-case letters. They "Squish-squash" in the mud, and the dog's tail goes "whump-whump" as the man cries "gadzooks" and "egads." Although rhyming "flea" with "immediately" is more than tortuous, most of the rhymes are of the one-syllable variety and are nicely accessible for young readers. Lester's computer-enhanced pencil-and-watercolor cartoons are highly exaggerated and filled with movement. Readers' eyes will be drawn to the immediate action, but there are also lots of details they might notice on a second perusal. A puzzled rabbit sits in the grass, a couple of birds laugh hysterically at the muddy twosome and a snail and frog also watch the antics. Clever fun and lots of giggles. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
EXPOSED by Kimberly Marcus
Released: Feb. 22, 2011

In accessibly poetic free verse, a Cape Cod teen haltingly relates how her brother's violent act changes things. Liz's artistic photos feature her "forever-best friend" Kate, a dancer. They share childhood history and fond nicknames; Kate is Lizzie's emotional core. At a sleepover, they quarrel: Liz insists Kate major in dance in college, insults Kate's boyfriend and storms upstairs. Later that night, Liz's brother finds Kate alone downstairs and rapes her. Although Mike claims it was "just sex," this isn't a who's-telling-the-truth poser—not quite. Liz eventually believes Kate, but she can't offer much to Kate verbally, and Kate can't bear to see her anyway. Liz is frozen, stung by family upheaval and the loss of Kate, which "eats away at me / like a dirty old gull / picking at fresh prey." Liz never places Kate's trauma ahead of her own, which feels as realistically distressing as the ending's lack of reconciliation and the lives capsized by an unrepentant sibling. Well-honed. (Fiction. 14 & up)Read full book review >