THEA’S TREE

When Thea’s science teacher assigns her a month-long project that includes research, observation and recording data, Thea decides to plant a purple seed and watch what happens. In just three days, the dirt has turned purple, oozy and bubbly. In nine days, the trunk is ten feet around. Thea keeps readers up-to-date on the plant’s growth through letters she writes to all sorts of specialists (all with alliterative names and all clueless), trying to find out what kind of plant she has. Readers will not be clueless, though, especially after Thea finds a golden egg, gold coins and singing harp beneath her “tree.” Thea’s scientific observations and hypotheses will make a science teacher’s heart sing. Pedersen’s line-and-watercolor illustrations are spot-on, matching the fairy-tale background of the original while bringing out the scientific details to go with the modern retelling. Save a spot on the shelves for this one...or maybe not—it will always be checked out. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-525-47443-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2008

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ELIZABETI'S DOLL

Charmed by her new baby brother, Elizabeti decides that she wants a baby of her own; she picks up a smooth rock, names it Eva and washes, feeds, and changes her, and carries her about in her cloth kanga. Hale dresses Elizabeti and her family in modern, brightly patterned clothing that practically glows against the earth-toned, sketchily defined Tanzanian village in which this is set. Although Eva appears a bit too large for Elizabeti to handle as easily as she does, the illustrations reflect the story’s simplicity; accompanied by an attentive hen, Elizabeti follows her indulgent mother about, mimicking each nurturing activity. The object of Elizabeti’s affection may be peculiar, but the love itself is real. Later, she rescues Eva from the fire pit, tenderly cleans her, then cradles the stone until she—Elizabeti—falls asleep. Stuve-Bodeen’s debut is quirky but believable, lightly dusted with cultural detail, and features universal emotions in an unusual setting. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 1-880000-70-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1998

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WILD, WILD WOLVES

At ``Step 2'' in the useful ``Step into Reading'' series: an admirably clear, well-balanced presentation that centers on wolves' habits and pack structure. Milton also addresses their endangered status, as well as their place in fantasy, folklore, and the popular imagination. Attractive realistic watercolors on almost every page. Top-notch: concise, but remarkably extensive in its coverage. A real bargain. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-91052-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

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