Books by Tom Curry

BUCKAMOO GIRLS by Ellen A. Kelley
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Saddle up for an udderly hilarious parody about two cows' fantasy of being cowgirls for a day. The staccato rhyming text is merely a vehicle for the outrageously comic illustrations that transform cows, Joanna and Susanna, into cowgirls. They don fringed skirts, vests, boots and spurs and ride off to rope steers, ride bulls at the rodeo and eat clover chili at the chuck wagon. "Sit tall, / moo strong. / Drive the herd / now, git along!" The nose-to-nose close-ups of the wide-eyed cowgirls and the bull are guaranteed to produce giggles: "Snortin' bull, / sharp horn. / Bucked off, / britches torn." These buckamoo girls are bovine divine: "won't you . . . dance by the light of the moooooon?" (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
A FINE ST. PATRICK’S DAY by Susan Wojciechowski
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 13, 2004

Though the author makes a bit of a leap at the end, this original tale, celebrating the benefits of generosity over ambition, makes worthwhile reading. The more goal-oriented town of Tralah always beats rival Tralee in the annual St. Patrick's Day decoration contest—until one year when the Tralahvians turn away a wee man who comes to their doors begging for help to free his cows from the mud. With only a little reluctance, the Traleenians leave off their frantic decorating to lend a hand, and wake the next morning to find their entire town painted a deep, prizewinning green. Then the citizens of Tralee enjoy their victory feast so much that they decide to chuck future competition and just have the dinner. Curry places the thatch-roofed, quaint-looking villages amid verdant, rolling fields, and though Wojciechowski never comes right out with it, the "little man," dressed in a long, pointed hat and curly-toed shoes, has a recognizably leprechaunish look. A thought- and discussion-provoking tale that shouldn't be relegated to the "holiday" shelves. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
THE BOOTMAKER AND THE ELVES by Susan Lowell
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

A bootmaker ``so poor even his shadow had holes in it'' wakes one morning to find his last piece of leather made into a pair of eye-popping, shiny new cowboy boots, bright with stars and roses. Sound familiar? Yep, it's a pair of tiny elves, and when the grateful bootmaker and his wife give them new duds to replace their patched overalls, they dance out the door, singing, ``Whoopee-ki-yi-yay, it's time to play! Yo-e-lay-eee-ooo, happy trails to you!'' As she did for Little Red Cowboy Hat (p. 302), Lowell gives the folktale a true Western spin, much abetted by the inventive Curry: Together they describe and depict each unique set of footwear in lovingly explicit detail. Like the elves, this retelling will leave readers ``just as pleased as a dog with two tails.'' (Picture book/folklore. 7-9) Read full book review >
SNAIL AND BUFFALO by Jim Latimer
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

What could have been mere instruction on the concepts of little and big becomes poetically resonant in the hands of Latimer (James Bear and the Goose Gathering, 1994, etc.) and Curry, who makes his debut. Buffalo and Snail meet on the prairie. Buffalo impresses his new companion with statistics about his size and speed, until Snail wonders if she has any worthwhile talents. She proves that bulk isn't the only measure of greatness in the animal kingdom. Her odd tricks include whorling, siphoning, retracting, and possibly causing lightning and thunder. Curry's illustrations, fresh and primitive, play tricks with perspective that sometimes make Snail look larger than her friend. The story is needlessly complicated by anthropomorphic whimsy (``Snail could speak in Clam, in Mussel, and in Limpetalso Periwinkle'') and by the inexplicable appearance of a reindeer. These intrusions threaten, but never puncture, the magic of the relationship. Definitely on the idiosyncratic side, but a refreshing gambol. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >