A sugary take, distinguishable only in minor ways from those illustrated by Maja Dusíková (2012), Kuniko Craft (2002), and a...

SLEEPING BEAUTY

Borders of lacy wisteria and thorny wild roses add elegant atmosphere to this sweet version of the classic tale.

Sage and Gibbs’ rendition, based on the Grimms’ “Briar Rose,” ends with the marriage and goes for the empty calories, equally careless with details and eager to leave behind the grimmer aspects of the original. The “spindles” ordered burned in the wake of dark-skinned Malevola’s curse are spinning wheels in the pictures, as is the item on which Princess Rosebud at last (somehow) pricks her finger; when Prince Florizel arrives a century later, he wakes her (by kissing her hand). The joyous couple goes off to a happily ever after, thus avoiding the rape, secret marriage, and cannibalism featured in old versions of the story. Gibb makes effective use of silhouettes and also of a wordless spread to underscore the tale’s more melodramatic moments. Elsewhere, Rosebud and her royal parents, along with a flutter of tiny gossamer-winged fairies, float and gesture gracefully in sumptuous pink and pastel settings framed by lush (if sometimes thorny) floral garlands.

A sugary take, distinguishable only in minor ways from those illustrated by Maja Dusíková (2012), Kuniko Craft (2002), and a fairy coachful of like romantics. (Picture book/fairy tale. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8075-7351-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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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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