THE PIED PIPER OF PERU

A brave little mouse teams up with Brother Martin to find a way for the mice to live in harmony with the human residents of the priory. With its many hiding places, the priory is a perfect place for Juana and the rest of the mouse colony to live. They could find plenty of food in the kitchen and the pantry and could find cozy homes in the floorboards and many cupboards. Only taking as much food as they needed, the mice were able to have a happy existence, at least until Luiz joined the colony. His hunger for cheese makes it impossible for the brothers to overlook the mice and forces them to get a cat to resolve the infestation problem. The mice relocate to the linen closets to avoid the cat, but their food supply soon runs out and they survive on bits of sheets and leather. Finding the new damage that the mice have done, the Prior instructs Brother Martin to set traps and poison the mice, but Martin’s tender heart cannot allow him to hurt the mice. Juana bravely approaches Brother Martin and together they convince the rest of the colony to relocate to the barn where Brother Martin will feed and care for them. An afterword about Brother Martin identifies him as Saint Martin de Porres, a Dominican lay brother with a great affinity for helping others, including animals. Beautiful watercolor illustrations in warm earth tones with splashes of muted color depict the peaceful life in the 16th-century priory. A wonderful intersection of history and myth. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-56397-949-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2002

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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...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

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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BUBBA, THE COWBOY PRINCE

A FRACTURED TEXAS TALE

A Cinderella parody features the off-the-wall, whang-dang Texas hyperbole of Ketteman (The Year of No More Corn, 1993, etc.) and the insouciance of Warhola, who proves himself only too capable of creating a fairy godcow; that she's so appealingly whimsical makes it easy to accept the classic tale's inversions. The protagonist is Bubba, appropriately downtrodden and overworked by his wicked stepdaddy and loathsome brothers Dwayne and Milton, who spend their days bossing him around. The other half of the happy couple is Miz Lurleen, who owns ``the biggest spread west of the Brazos.'' She craves male companionship to help her work the place, ``and it wouldn't hurt if he was cute as a cow's ear, either.'' There are no surprises in this version except in the hilarious way the premise plays itself out and in Warhola's delightful visual surprises. When Lurleen tracks the bootless Bubba down, ``Dwayne and Milton and their wicked daddy threw chicken fits.'' Bubba and babe, hair as big as a Texas sun, ride off to a life of happy ranching, and readers will be proud to have been along for the courtship. (Picture book/folklore. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-590-25506-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1997

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