Still, another solid addition to tall-tale collections.

READ REVIEW

MISS SALLY ANN AND THE PANTHER

Miller and Lloyd team up for another rollicking tall-tale adventure (Davy Crockett Gets Hitched, 2009).

While gathering onions on a bone-cold morning in woods so thick the sun can’t shine through, Miss Sally Ann Thunder, dressed in her best bear fur, and Fireeyes, the “hugeceously smart and mean as tarnation” panther, come face to face, each coveting the other’s coat to keep out the winter chill. The rip-roaring battle that ensues changes the world around them—a new gorge is formed, skunks lose their stripes, the Milky Way curdles—but neither is able to gain the upper hand. By the next morning’s light, they stop to appreciate each other's fine fighting skills…and smile at one another, suddenly great friends. Fireeyes lives with Miss Sally Ann now, helping around the house and lying on her feet to keep them warm in the winter, her best bear fur around his shoulders. Miller’s rambunctious read-aloud is peppered with word itching to be shared—thunderific, swaggerous, conbobberation, terrifiacious, ripsnorting, as well as the delightful, though too-often-repeated, varmint. Lloyd’s acrylic artwork masterfully conveys texture, each hair on the panther and needle on the evergreens sharply defined. Miss Sally Ann’s larger-than-life personality comes through as she wrestles with the giant cat, though some readers may have trouble with her pioneer attitudes: She collects eagle eggs for eggnog and wants to kill the panther just for his pelt.

Still, another solid addition to tall-tale collections. (Picture book/tall tale. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-1833-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2012

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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...

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

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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