Puffed-up, peg-legged, hawk-nosed Peter Stuyvesant, a feather in his wide-brimmed hat, a buckle on his boot, could be the Captain of the Pinafore the way he self-asserts: he makes a great, grand entrance and Lobel makes it rhyme. "'My friends,' Peter said, 'it is nice to be here/ For my voyage was really a long one./ I will rule this new land with a very firm hand,/ And my government will be a strong one./ Yes, my government will be a strong one.'" For those who don't know about the order he made out of the chaos that was New Amsterdam, Mr. Lobel provides a factual preface, but this Peter Stuyvesant is no textbook governor: no, no textbook governor would sit in the street ("a goat from behind, in a manner unkind,/ Gave Peter a push on his seat"). "'This New World is a mess!' Peter cried in distress-/ 'These animals need gates and fences./ Take these birds to a cage!' Peter shouted in rage./ 'Oh, good Dutchmen, let's come to our senses!'" They do, after hemming and hawing (it's all in the drawing), and then "'Let us have a big Dutch celebration!'" — at which "Someone asked, 'Will the town stay as small as it is?'" and old Stuyvesant uses his bedtime imagination. He "knew he was dreaming" and what does he dream but Manhattan today (again, pictured); and what indeed could better consummate what is what else but the jauntiest Pilgrim's Progress on record? Droll, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 1971

ISBN: 0064431444

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1971

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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...


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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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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