A cleverly funny animal tale with giggleworthy illustrations.



A creature’s surprise birthday party goes awry when all of the guests get the flu in this rhyming picture book debut.

Lion is sad and lonely on his birthday. But then his friends arrive with flowers, presents, and balloons—and the revels begin. Unfortunately, Hippo starts sneezing. Soon, Hippo, Gorilla, Rhino, and Polar Bear have all come down with the flu, and poor Lion is left running to get them tea, tissues, soup, and “goo” for chests. All that work is too much: “ ‘I want my mommy!’ Lion roared. / They all whined, ‘We do too!’ ” But they start mending, and soon Lion’s friends are feeling great—and taking care of the big cat, who’s finally caught the flu. Michaels’ rhyme scheme flows beautifully throughout, with smart word choices like “askew” and “flared” that painlessly introduce vocabulary to newly independent readers. The cartoon images by debut illustrator Hernandez are a comical delight, with the huge (all male) animals snuggled up sick in the same large bed. Occasionally, the text and the accompanying picture aren’t quite in synch. A description of Hippo’s sneeze blowing everyone’s food everywhere is matched with a close-up of his face and the aftermath of the calamity, making it feel as though a transition is missing. But young readers will be able to piece together the clues.

A cleverly funny animal tale with giggleworthy illustrations.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-73306-630-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Mulberry Street Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2019

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...


With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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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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