Today’s kids might not know the name of Daniel Boone (or what a coonskin cap is), but this original tall tale explains why Boone wore that distinctive hat as a boy, and why he stopped wearing it, too. Glass (The Sweetwater Run: The Story of Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express, 1996, etc.) has crafted another original tall tale in his series of self-illustrated picture books for older readers that each describe an exciting fictionalized event in the younger days of an American folk hero. In this well-written tale full of frontier-flavored expressions, young Daniel Boone is growing up as a Quaker boy in Pennsylvania with a Delaware Native American companion who helps Daniel become an accomplished woodsman at a young age. On one of Boone’s solo rambles through the forest, he is surprised by an enormous “malodorous” bear who takes off with the coonskin cap (which was probably quite malodorous as well!). Daniel tracks the bear until he is chased by a group of Native Americans who shoot arrows at him and throw a tomahawk or two, terrifying the young Boone. Alert readers will notice that they are carrying Daniel’s cap, trying to return it to him. In the best tall-tale tradition, Daniel leaps off a cliff, swims down a river, and hides in a log with a raccoon family (the reason for giving up the coonskin cap), before finding his way back home after being “bewildered for three days.” Glass’s glowing full-page and double-page illustrations in colored pencil and oil pastels capture Daniel’s boisterous nature and action-packed adventures, but some will object to the rather stereotypical portrayal of the Native Americans in both art and text. An author’s note includes extensive information on the sources and research for the story; a bibliography and map of key sites are also included. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2000

ISBN: 0-8234-1446-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lovely encouragement to young writers to persist.


This follow-up to How To Read a Story (2005) shows a child going through the steps of creating a story, from choosing an idea through sharing with friends.

A young black child lies in a grassy field writing in a journal, working on “Step 1 / Search for an Idea— / a shiny one.” During a walk to the library, various ideas float in colorful thought bubbles, with exclamation points: “playing soccer! / dogs!” Inside the library, less-distinct ideas, expressed as shapes and pictures, with question marks, float about as the writer collects ideas to choose from. The young writer must then choose a setting, a main character, and a problem for that protagonist. Plotting, writing with detail, and revising are described in child-friendly terms and shown visually, in the form of lists and notes on faux pieces of paper. Finally, the writer sits in the same field, in a new season, sharing the story with friends. The illustrations feature the child’s writing and drawing as well as images of imagined events from the book in progress bursting off the page. The child’s main character is an adventurous mermaid who looks just like the child, complete with afro-puff pigtails, representing an affirming message about writing oneself into the world. The child’s family, depicted as black, moves in the background of the setting, which is also populated by a multiracial cast.

A lovely encouragement to young writers to persist. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4521-5666-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet