TALKING EAGLE AND THE LADY OF THE ROSES

Jewel-toned, folk-art–style illustrations illuminate this tale of the first indigenous saint in the Americas. Authentically and lovingly told, this version of the familiar story of Juan Diego and the Lady of Guadalupe is dramatic and bold, affirming the worth and celebrating the perseverance of the poor and downtrodden. Born Talking Eagle, Juan Diego converted as an adult and was more than the simple peasant he’s often considered to be. He was a deeply spiritual man, known for his kindness and his eaglelike ability to “rise above and see things that others could not." When Juan Diego meets a mysterious lady one December day on the hill of Tepayac, she commands him to relay to the bishops her instructions that "a house of prayers" be built. He is repulsed by them twice before she sends him back one last time with his cloak (tilma) full of miraculous roses. Córdova’s illustrations are bright with turquoise, fuchsia and terra-cotta and appropriately infused with religious iconography. An afterword by Gollogly provides useful historical and cultural background to this story that has had such an impact on the religious life of Mexico. The tale is not often told in children's books, and this is a much stronger telling than Tomie de Paola's The Lady of Guadalupe (1980)Respectful and affectionate, this book will be welcomed by Sunday-school teachers and religious households alike. (Picture book/religion. 5-10)

Pub Date: May 11, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8801-0719-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Steiner Books

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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