TOO MUCH TALK

A West African tale, carefully sourced, about a farmer whose yam and then dog talk to him. Terrified, he runs until he meets a fisherman who listens to the farmer's tale. `` `Oh,' said the fisherman, `that can't happen.' `Oh, yes it can,' the fish said to them.'' Terrified, the two of them run until they meet a weaver (whose cloth talks), a bather (the water talks), and the chief (his chair talks and ``he ran uphill and downhill and was never seen again''). The plot has all the poetic repetitions typical of folktales, but stripped down to the bare essentials, the minimalism becomes remarkable. Demonstrating exceptional timing, Medearis's narrative unwinds like a song with verses and refrains. On top of this, the deadpan comedy found in the contrast between the formal dialogue of the humans and the casual words of the yam, dog, cloth, water, and chair makes this some sort of miniature masterpiece. Vitale paints with oils on wood, using sweet, smoky colors. His flat, funny characters appear in exaggerated postures amid stylized landscapes with nominal perspective surrounded by patterned borders. Laugh with it or laugh at it—it's a great little book. (Picture book. 3+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1995

ISBN: 1-56402-323-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1995

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HOW CHIPMUNK GOT HIS STRIPES

A TALE OF BRAGGING AND TEASING

Noted storyteller Bruchac (Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving, p. 1498, etc.) teams up with his son, James (Native American Games and Stories, not reviewed) to present a pourquoi tale from the East Coast Native American tradition. Bear is undeniably big; he is also a braggart, given to walking through the forest and proclaiming his superiority to all within earshot: “I can do anything! Yes, I can!” When he hears this, little Brown Squirrel challenges Bear to tell the sun not to rise the next day. This Bear does, and when the sun does in fact rise despite his injunction not to, Brown Squirrel unwisely gloats: “Bear is foolish, the sun came up. Bear is silly, the sun came up.” Thanks to trickery, Brown Squirrel escapes with his life, but not before Bear claws the stripes into his back that cause him to change his name to Chipmunk. The Bruchacs translate the orality of the tale to written text beautifully, including dialogue that invites audience participation. Aruego and Dewey’s (Mouse in Love, p. 886, etc.) signature cartoon-like illustrations extend the humor of the text perfectly. One spread shows the faces of all the animals rejoicing in the yellow light of the newly risen sun—all except Bear, whose glower contrasts ominously with Brown Squirrel’s glee. Clever use of perspective emphasizes the difference in size between boastful Bear and his pint-sized trickster opponent. Authors’ notes precede the story, explaining the history of the tale and each teller’s relationship to it. A winner. (Picture book/folktale. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8037-2404-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

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Copious kid-friendly information on a vitally important topic, stylishly presented, makes this book essential. Knowledge is...

EAT THIS!

HOW FAST FOOD MARKETING GETS YOU TO BUY JUNK (AND HOW TO FIGHT BACK)

A comprehensive compilation of fast-food marketing practices aimed at youth and ways kids can recognize and combat them.

In this slim, 15-chapter book, Curtis begins with the basics, clearly explaining what marketing is: “the art and science of persuasion.” The author’s upbeat, nonpatronizing tone is a selling point in itself as she explains how fast-food marketers place product brands in entertainment culture—movies, TV shows, and video games—to persuade kids to identify with or become loyal to a type of junk food; how they infiltrate schools by creating fundraisers and teaching resources that feature their product; and how they create kid-friendly spokescharacters such as Ronald McDonald, among many other manipulative practices. The good news is that the book’s target audience—kids—will feel empowered as they learn how they are being influenced and are educated in ways to fight back. Segments labeled “Do This!” suggest ways readers can participate in anti–fast-food advocacy and tell stories of real-life kids and parents who exposed junk-food marketing practices. Facts about the unhealthy results of eating fast food based on statistics from countries around the world are included as well as information on what real food is. Collins’ snappy designs depict youth of many ethnicities and share space with clear, well-chosen stock photographs.

Copious kid-friendly information on a vitally important topic, stylishly presented, makes this book essential. Knowledge is power. (sources, glossary, author interview) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-88995-532-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Red Deer Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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