Books by Kjersti Board

BRIDGET AND THE MOOSE BROTHERS by Pija Lindenbaum
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 6, 2004

A trio of rowdy moose gives an only child a taste of what living with sibs might be like in this droll import. One snowy day, Bridget invites the three moose she finds sitting on her doorstep to enter—only to see them behave like the worst sort of pests: breaking her crayons, scattering toys, turning on the TV without permission, drinking from the toilet, taking over her bed, and carpeting her room with pellet-like poop. Lindenbaum depicts all the chaos in canted cartoons featuring an increasingly annoyed-looking child in bright turquoise overalls, chasing after a set of furry, blasé houseguests. Bridget does at last trick them into leaving, and concludes that the friends and cousins she already has are company enough. Fans of her previous encounters with sheep and wolves will be pleased to see her deal with this uproarious new challenge. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
THE LITTLE JESTER by Helena Olofsson
adapted by Helena Olofsson, illustrated by Helena Olofsson, translated by Kjersti Board
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 5, 2002

The author retells a French legend of the juggler who performs his tricks for the Madonna. In Olofsson's version, he asks for a meal at a monastery. The Abbott reluctantly allows him in with strict orders for the monks to send him on his way as soon as he finishes his meal. But the monks are fascinated by the jester and ask him to perform. He begins his tricks, and by means of his flute, leads the way to the chapel where he jumps on the high altar and proceeds with the show. The Abbott, who has retired to his study, hears the noise and follows it to the chapel. Furious, he admonishes the monks, when one of them points to the revered picture of the Weeping Madonna above the altar. It is a miracle—for the Madonna is smiling. The Abbott realizes he was wrong and asks the jester to name a favor. The jester asks that anyone who asks for shelter or a meal at the monastery should be welcome, and so it happens. The jester becomes famous as everyone recognizes him for the jester who made the Weeping Madonna smile. The illustrations are stylized to evoke the design of medieval manuscripts and the red, blue, green, and soft yellow colors heighten the effect. The type seems to be handwritten and at times is difficult to read. Interestingly, the illustrations are also reminiscent of the cartoon drawings of Louis Slobodkin. The story is told in an awkward manner with stilted phrases that interrupt the smoothness of the text. There are no notes to identify this as a story based on a French legend. The Little Juggler, illustrated by Barbara Cooney (o.p.), is closest to this version, but her illustrations are more distinguished and she includes a note on the origin of the tale. The Clown of God, by Tomie dePaola (1978), also acknowledges this as a French legend, and in a foreword says that this was the original title by which the tale was known. DePaola's and Cooney's versions portray the juggler as a person devoted to the Madonna and he performs his tricks to give honor to her. Perhaps this version, with its emphasis more on generosity than adoration will appeal to a wider audience. (Picture book/folktale. 5-7)Read full book review >
BY GEEZERS AND GALOSHES! by Lena Arro
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 18, 2001

Handsome, evocative pen-and-wash artwork transports this merry adventure tale to impressive heights. Young Bubble is shipped to his aged cousins for a week while his parents are away. The two grizzled characters take the boy under wing and for entertainment, they build a model sailboat Bubble has brought along. The instructions say to put the finished model in water for it to attain full size. Sure enough, the next morning the ship is ocean-worthy, so the three set sail. Bubble is the captain, old man Granstrom is the cook (and a rotten one at first, given to such oaths as "glutinous glowworm" and "rubbery rattlesnake" when he burns the baloney), while Herring August stands lookout. Their minor exploits (including a stint as pirates, stealing a candy bar and red pencil) come to a close when the oatmeal runs out. They return home, dry off the boat, and now it sits on their mantle waiting for the next adventure. A fine blend of fantasy and tongue-in-cheek enterprise, with engaging characters, a mellow mood for all the adventure (this book could serve as a lullaby), and steady pacing, all knit together with Kruusval's excellent detailed illustrations. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >