A warm, sweetly rendered, but potentially anxiety-inducing tale.

SCRUFFY & THE EGG

A dog loses his family—but finds a little one to care for—in Sanchez’s charming picture-book debut that tackles the difficult issue of poverty.

The book begins with Fluffy Dog, who is well-loved and cared for by his family. But when the family loses their home to foreclosure and must move away, they regretfully leave their dog behind. He waits for them to return, but the realtors chase him off. As he journeys to find his family, he becomes Scruffy instead of Fluffy; he moves from neighborhood to city to desert until one day, a bald eagle egg falls on him. After an unsuccessful attempt to return the egg to its nest, he can’t abandon it, so he takes it with him, rolling it with his nose into another city. Eventually, the egg begins to hatch, just enough so that its beak and feet stick out of the shell. But Scruffy doesn’t mind. He realizes he’s found a new family. The relationship between the expressively drawn and lovable Scruffy, whose sharp outline contrasts the textured color in his fur, and the faceless egg is impressively conveyed and will be adored by lap readers and independent readers alike. But the unresolved issues of Scruffy’s missing family, the egg’s eagle parents, and the homelessness both Scruffy and the egg share will leave sensitive readers concerned about their fates. Readers and parents will hope for further Scruffy adventures that may lead to a truly happy ending.

A warm, sweetly rendered, but potentially anxiety-inducing tale.

Pub Date: June 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9979968-0-7

Page Count: 27

Publisher: Puppy & Sparrow Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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THE NAME JAR

Unhei has just left her Korean homeland and come to America with her parents. As she rides the school bus toward her first day of school, she remembers the farewell at the airport in Korea and examines the treasured gift her grandmother gave her: a small red pouch containing a wooden block on which Unhei’s name is carved. Unhei is ashamed when the children on the bus find her name difficult to pronounce and ridicule it. Lesson learned, she declines to tell her name to anyone else and instead offers, “Um, I haven’t picked one yet. But I’ll let you know next week.” Her classmates write suggested names on slips of paper and place them in a jar. One student, Joey, takes a particular liking to Unhei and sees the beauty in her special stamp. When the day arrives for Unhei to announce her chosen name, she discovers how much Joey has helped. Choi (Earthquake, see below, etc.) draws from her own experience, interweaving several issues into this touching account and delicately addressing the challenges of assimilation. The paintings are done in creamy, earth-tone oils and augment the story nicely. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80613-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2001

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