TO HELL WITH DYING

In a short story produced as a picture book, a well-known novelist (The Color Purple) depicts the loving relationship between Mr. Sweet, "a diabetic and an alcoholic and a guitar player," and the girl who narrates the story. From the girl's earliest childhood on, Mr. Sweet, depressed about his failed ambitions, is periodically on the verge of death—but the girl's family always comes up the road to the house on his neglected cotton farm and, with love and cheerful cajolery, talk him out of it. Between these crises, there are joyful, companionable times. Finally, on Mr. Sweet's 90th birthday, as the girl is completing her doctorate, she gets word that Mr. Sweet is dying for the last time—and hurries home from Massachusetts in time for a poignant farewell. Touched with the right sort of sentiment, Walker's story is overflowing with compassion, humor, and good sense. Deeter's framed illustrations, full-page and full-color, are realistic, almost monumental in their simplicity; they sensitively reinforce the wonderful relationship described in the text. A Fine story of deep feeling.

Pub Date: April 1, 1988

ISBN: 0152890742

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1988

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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