A smart choice for fans of the genre.


This fractured fairy tale packs in some solid jokes (and a lot of slime).

While visiting the Three Bears, Goldilocks’ golden locks are drenched in a generous blob of slime as soon as she opens the door. Who could be responsible? This begins a whodunit that crisscrosses the fairy-tale realm as Goldie and a gaggle of friends seek out the culprit. Was it Baby Bear? (“You’re still mad I broke your chair!” Goldie accuses him.) Was it Rapunzel? Was it the Three Little Pigs? Who knew that Goldilocks had beef with so many of her neighbors? As they search, the expanding party is repeatedly slimed in location after location. Maxwell’s humor is dry, and hip readers will giggle at the snapbacks and humorous dialogue sprinkled throughout. The story reads aloud well, although the length may limit the audience to older listeners. Cotterill’s artwork—ink on watercolor paper with digitally added color—is loose and lively, and rereaders (and savvy-eyed first timers) are given hints to the real slimer. Of the human cast, only Little Red Riding Hood appears to be a person of color; this was a missed opportunity in an otherwise funny retelling.

A smart choice for fans of the genre. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: July 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-39326-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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


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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