THE LITTLEST GRAPE STOMPER

A fey piece of whimsy takes a lighthearted look at child labor. The village of Ear, nestled in the Your Valley, is famed for the excellence of its hand—er, foot—stomped grape juice. Into Ear is born Sixto, named because he has six toes on each foot. When Boss Nova Boombatz spies those extra toes, he quickly sees their possibilities and puts polite little Sixto (who would really rather play) to work as a grape stomper, building ever-bigger vats to nudge Sixto’s efforts into the record books. Potter has fun with the text, giving Boombatz a distinctly Mafioso air and dyeing Sixto and the other grape stompers a delicate shade of purple. All the characters wear her trademark old-people faces, giving all the Earians an appealingly ageless appearance. Madison’s resolution is as silly as the premise itself: A deluge of juice, stomped by Sixto in an enormous cistern, floods the Your Valley, creating the Grape Lakes and sweeping Boombatz away. Kids will enjoy both Sixto’s triumph and the overall goofiness of this small tall tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2007

ISBN: 0-375-83675-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

OTIS

From the Otis series

Continuing to find inspiration in the work of Virginia Lee Burton, Munro Leaf and other illustrators of the past, Long (The Little Engine That Could, 2005) offers an aw-shucks friendship tale that features a small but hardworking tractor (“putt puff puttedy chuff”) with a Little Toot–style face and a big-eared young descendant of Ferdinand the bull who gets stuck in deep, gooey mud. After the big new yellow tractor, crowds of overalls-clad locals and a red fire engine all fail to pull her out, the little tractor (who had been left behind the barn to rust after the arrival of the new tractor) comes putt-puff-puttedy-chuff-ing down the hill to entice his terrified bovine buddy successfully back to dry ground. Short on internal logic but long on creamy scenes of calf and tractor either gamboling energetically with a gaggle of McCloskey-like geese through neutral-toned fields or resting peacefully in the shade of a gnarled tree (apple, not cork), the episode will certainly draw nostalgic adults. Considering the author’s track record and influences, it may find a welcome from younger audiences too. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-399-25248-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more