Books by Nola Langner Malone

POT LUCK by Tobi Tobias
Released: April 26, 1993

When Sophie telephones, Gram urges her to come to dinner ``today''—but ``you'll have to take pot luck.'' Gram defines the term for Rachel, then (to Rachel's puzzlement) spends the day shopping, preparing a festive meal, and tidying the house. The two women—whose friendship goes back to Poland, where it weathered the period when the boys ``were all after Sophie first''—spend a happy evening chatting, Rachel comfortably included. Still, she's puzzled, so as she and Gram snuggle into bed, Gram explains: ``A woman like Sophie don't feed last night's stew.'' Perfectly reflecting the household's aura of competence and coziness, Malone's scribbly pencil lines- -as pleasantly relaxed as Gram's disheveled hair as she bustles about her kitchen—are warmed with watercolors in delicately faded earth tones. A charming story, with spirited realistic dialogue that's especially entertaining read aloud. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
KING OF THE PLAYGROUND by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

Each day Kevin presents himself at the playground, only to be ousted by Sammy's threats ("...he'll dig a hole so deep I'll never get out"); each day Dad mildly points out that Sammy's fierce notions are impractical ("And what would you be doing while Sammy was tying you up? Just sitting there?"), helping Kevin to realize that he's not helpless ("...while Sammy was nailing one door shut, we could walk out the other"). Finally, Kevin gets up his courage and counters Sammy's threats with an imaginative—and logical—verbal exchange. Then, to Sammy's ultimate outlandish threat, Kevin says simply, "Try it"—and the two settle down to play in the sandbox together. Naylor brings wit and good sense to this model exercise in problem solving and conflict resolution. Malone's characters are suitably lively and expressive; her imaginary scenes are differentiated by slightly muted colors. Entertaining and salutory. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >