Next book

MARY ANN

When her best friend moves away, Amy feels bereft: ``I wish there were hundreds and hundreds of Mary Anns,'' she tells Daddy, imagining that it wouldn't matter, then, if one moved away. At that point, she's diverted by finding a praying mantis. She names it Mary Ann, keeps it in a terrarium, and faithfully gives it live food. As Mama has gently foretold, the insect dies after laying her eggs; but weeks later, while Amy and her parents are enjoying a reunion at her old friend's new house, the eggs hatch. The screen is off the terrarium, so when the family comes home their house is full of ``hundreds of Mary Anns.'' The friendship and the natural history lesson are worked seamlessly together in James's simple, direct text, which is ably complemented by sunny illustrations that nicely convey the warm relationships and add such intriguing details as how the screen was dislodged. A note offers sensible advice on keeping a mantis. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-525-45077-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1993

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

  • New York Times Bestseller

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Next book

A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

Close Quickview