THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLF

Never has this favorite tale been told with such animation and charming humor. The shepherd boy is bored, really bored. He tries to teach the sheep tricks, but they aren’t interested. He needs excitement so he cries WOLF and everyone comes running; then he cries TWO WOLVES, and the townsfolk run lickety-split to help again. And you know the rest of the story—on his third alarm, no response. Only this time there are THREE HUNGRY WOLVES, and the boy has to hunt all day for his missing sheep by himself. The last spread, wordless, shows the boy searching the pasture while the sheep are stacked up in a tree. Kulikov’s inventive watercolor-and-gouache illustrations give “sheepish grins” new dimension, as the expressions on the animals’ faces are unabashedly funny. It’s the in-your-face angles and perspectives that spin the drama, from the foot-view of the boy picking his nose to sheep-leaping to a pesky fly; even the typeface name, “Uncle Stinky,” fits the romp. Kids will cry for repeated readings of this amusing account. Ovine divine—and darn clever. (Picture book/folktale. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-689-87433-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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THE BEST CHEF IN SECOND GRADE

An impending school visit by a celebrity chef sends budding cook Ollie into a tailspin. He and his classmates are supposed to bring a favorite family food for show and tell, but his family doesn’t have a clear choice—besides, his little sister Rosy doesn’t like much of anything. What to do? As in their previous two visits to Room 75, Kenah builds suspense while keeping the tone light, and Carter adds both bright notes of color and familiar home and school settings in her cartoon illustrations. Eventually, Ollie winkles favorite ingredients out of his clan, which he combines into a mac-and-cheese casserole with a face on top that draws delighted praise from the class’s renowned guest. As Ollie seems to do his kitchen work without parental assistance, a cautionary tip or two (and maybe a recipe) might not have gone amiss here, but the episode’s mouthwatering climax and resolution will guarantee smiles of contentment all around. (Easy reader. 6-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-053561-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2007

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THIS SCHOOL YEAR WILL BE THE BEST!

On the first day of school, this primary-grade teacher encourages her students to share their hopes for the coming year. In one- or two-page spreads, the wishes unfold: for the best seat on the bus, a chocolate fountain at lunch, to kick the ball into the right goal, not to be a vegetable in the school play. The quotidian-but-nevertheless-marvelous (“at least one snow day”) mixes with the slightly ridiculous (“We’ll have Skateboard Day”) to provide a kid-level survey of anticipated fun. Andriani’s line-and-watercolor cartoons likewise mix the fanciful (one little boy brings his giant purple boa constrictor for show-and-tell) and the realistic (two girls jump double Dutch as one of them imagines making friends in her new school). A catalog more than a story, this agreeable book could act as a fruitful springboard for class brainstorming. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-525-42275-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2010

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