For reading aloud and reading alone, another satisfying sequel.

READ REVIEW

DORY FANTASMAGORY, HEAD IN THE CLOUDS

From the Dory Fantasmagory series , Vol. 4

Dory Fantasmagory loses her first tooth.

Hanlon continues the combination of real-life 6-year-old problems and fantastic adventure that has characterized the three previous titles in this series for chapter-book readers. Over the course of seven chapters, this superimaginative first-grader deals with two quite believable issues: she gets in trouble for lying about a “BUNCHY” coat she doesn’t want to wear and, with the help of the tooth fairy, successfully vanquishes the imaginary Mrs. Gobble Gracker, who makes her behave badly. It doesn’t help that her older siblings (who invented the witch in the first book) tell her that the tooth fairy brings money only to children who are good. Dory has a very hard time being good. Told mostly in dialogue-filled prose, the story is also carried out in black-and-white illustrations, which show this freckle-faced white child and her real family, friends, neighbors, and classmates (including some people of color) as well as her imaginary horned and furry friend Mary, scary Mrs. Gobble Gracker with her long fingernails, and a wonderfully ample elderly grocery shopper she’s convinced is the tooth fairy. The family dynamics are entirely believable, and both adult and child readers can appreciate the humor.

For reading aloud and reading alone, another satisfying sequel. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-3046-0

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education.

IF I BUILT A SCHOOL

A young visionary describes his ideal school: “Perfectly planned and impeccably clean. / On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!”

In keeping with the self-indulgently fanciful lines of If I Built a Car (2005) and If I Built a House (2012), young Jack outlines in Seussian rhyme a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies (including one in a wheeled cart) greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches range from “PB & jelly to squid, lightly seared,” and the library’s books are all animated popups rather than the “everyday regular” sorts. There are no guards to be seen in the spacious hallways—hardly any adults at all, come to that—and the sparse coed student body features light- and dark-skinned figures in roughly equal numbers, a few with Asian features, and one in a wheelchair. Aside from the lack of restrooms, it seems an idyllic environment—at least for dog-loving children who prefer sports and play over quieter pursuits.

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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