More Anna Hibiscus stories are certainly most welcome! (Fiction. 5-9)

WELCOME HOME, ANNA HIBISCUS

From the Anna Hibiscus series , Vol. 5

As the title indicates, Anna Hibiscus returns home to Africa from her visit with her Canadian family.

All eight volumes of the Anna Hibiscus chapter-book series are now available. Although each story stands alone, readers who approach them in order will have a rich experience indeed, and in fact for this volume it may be preferable. The first chapter of this fifth volume recaps her trip to Canada (Have Fun, Anna Hibiscus!, 2011). It is only from context clues that readers learn that Anna has a Canadian grandmother as well as her African family. Transitioning readers unfamiliar with the earlier books and not alert to reading clues may find it confusing. Tiger Lily, a friend Anna met in Canada who is biracial, just like Anna herself, appears in the third chapter with almost no introduction. Snow White, Anna’s pet chicken, is hatched in the second chapter and becomes increasingly important in later volumes; here, she causes trouble by making messes while Anna is in school. Despite the African setting, these are sweet domestic stories North American readers will easily understand. Anna’s adventures and worries are small, recognizable, and happily resolved. This simplicity ensures success for new readers. The repetitive vocabulary (adults are repeatedly “cross, very cross” at Snow White’s antics) and simple sentence structure carry readers through the relatively lengthy chapters. Tobia’s expressive pencil drawings provide additional context and break up the text.

More Anna Hibiscus stories are certainly most welcome! (Fiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61067-678-6

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

Teachers will certainly find themselves wishing for their own arsenal of supplies to help them with their grading, and...

THE LITTLE RED PEN

Obviously inspired by "The Little Red Hen," this goes beyond the foundation tale's basic moral about work ethic to explore problem solving, teamwork and doing one’s best.

Nighttime at school brings the Little Red Pen out of the drawer to correct papers, usually aided by other common school supplies. But not this time. Too afraid of being broken, worn out, dull, lost or, worst of all, put in the “Pit of No Return” (aka trash), they hide in the drawer despite the Little Red Pen’s insistence that the world will end if the papers do not get corrected. But even with her drive she cannot do it all herself—her efforts send her to the Pit. It takes the ingenuity and cooperation of every desk supply to accomplish her rescue and to get all the papers graded, thereby saving the world. The authors work in lots of clever wordplay that will appeal to adult readers, as will the spicy character of Chincheta, the Mexican pushpin. Stevens’ delightfully expressive desk supplies were created with paint, ink and plenty of real school supplies. Without a doubt, she has captured their true personalities: the buck-toothed stapler, bespectacled scissors and rather empty-headed eraser.

Teachers will certainly find themselves wishing for their own arsenal of supplies to help them with their grading, and students may take a second glance at that innocuous-looking red pen on the teacher’s desk. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 18, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-15-206432-7

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: April 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more