Steadfast and quietly amusing, Shaina is a girl to admire.

READ REVIEW

A HEN FOR IZZY PIPPIK

When Shaina discovers an unusual hen sporting “emerald green feathers with golden speckles,” she strives to find its rightful owner.

Although her hungry family wants to make chicken soup, Shaina insists they restore the newfound hen to Izzy Pippik, who has left town. By the time he returns, the hen has given birth to a multiplying flock of chickens. The chickens have overrun the town, and people are mad, but then the merchants realize that the freely ranging chickens have brought prosperity back because everyone wants to visit. Shaina is overjoyed when Pippik shows up. She tries to return Yevka, the original hen, and the whole flock, but Izzy matches her honesty with his generosity by allowing all to stay. Shocked, Shaina tells him he can’t. “If they’re mine to have,” he says, “they’re mine to give,” and the poverty-stricken townspeople have been saved by an upright girl and an altruistic gentleman. Retro, droll pencil illustrations colored in Photoshop show a European town in the 1930s. Shaina and Yevka echo each other as they walk along, with red bow and comb, black braid and tail feather bouncing in the breeze, green-and-white pinafore dress and feathers.  Although no specific sources are stated, the author/storyteller has drawn upon Talmudic and Islamic folklore.

Steadfast and quietly amusing, Shaina is a girl to admire. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55453-243-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

In contrast to the carbs and desserts pictured, though sweet, this is unlikely to stick with readers.

BAGEL IN LOVE

A romance for carb (and pun!) lovers who dance to their own drummers and don’t give up on their dreams.

Bagel is a guy who loves to dance; when he’s tapping and twirling, he doesn’t feel plain. The problem is, he can’t find a partner for the Cherry Jubilee Dance Contest. Poppy says his steps are half-baked. Pretzel, “who was at the spa getting a salt rub…told him his moves didn’t cut the mustard.” He strikes out in Sweet City, too, with Croissant, Doughnut, and Cake. But just when he’s given up, he hears the music from the contest and can’t help moving his feet. And an echoing tap comes back to him. Could it be a partner at last? Yep, and she just happens to smell sweet and have frosting piled high. Bagel and Cupcake crush the contest, but winning the trophy? That “was just icing on the cake,” as the final sentence reads, the two standing proudly with a blue ribbon and trophy, hearts filling the space above and between them. Dardik’s digital illustrations are pastel confections. Sometimes just the characters’ heads are the treats, and other times the whole body is the foodstuff, with tiny arms and legs added on. Even the buildings are like something from “Hansel and Gretel.” However, this pun-filled narrative is just one of many of its ilk, good for a few yuks but without much staying power.

In contrast to the carbs and desserts pictured, though sweet, this is unlikely to stick with readers. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2239-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education.

IF I BUILT A SCHOOL

A young visionary describes his ideal school: “Perfectly planned and impeccably clean. / On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!”

In keeping with the self-indulgently fanciful lines of If I Built a Car (2005) and If I Built a House (2012), young Jack outlines in Seussian rhyme a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies (including one in a wheeled cart) greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches range from “PB & jelly to squid, lightly seared,” and the library’s books are all animated popups rather than the “everyday regular” sorts. There are no guards to be seen in the spacious hallways—hardly any adults at all, come to that—and the sparse coed student body features light- and dark-skinned figures in roughly equal numbers, a few with Asian features, and one in a wheelchair. Aside from the lack of restrooms, it seems an idyllic environment—at least for dog-loving children who prefer sports and play over quieter pursuits.

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more