I SAID, "BED!"

From the I Like To Read series

A book written for new readers seems more like fare for the toddler set.

The unnamed protagonist is a boy who resists his stern mother’s titular directive that he go to bed. Pictures depict her exasperation as she drags him down the hallway and then as she tries to get him out from under his bed. In a very abrupt mood shift on the facing page, she is then pictured sitting and smiling while reading aloud from a chair beside his bed. Playful colored pencil–and-graphite illustrations are anything but sleepy, and their busyness may prove overwhelming for emergent readers attempting to decode text. Furthermore, while the words themselves are simple enough to inspire confidence and independence, the bedtime-angst theme seems better suited to a younger audience. This concern is only somewhat mitigated when the art takes a fantastic turn, sending the boy and his teddy bear flying off on an adventure, as this part of the story is rather disjointed. They sail in a bed that has become like a boat and then encounter alien children who are also resisting bedtime. Then, the boy and teddy bear recognize the moon children’s bed as their own, and they seize it and take it back home. Their appetite for fun satiated, they then decide to go to sleep, too.

A mixed bag of a book. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2938-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work.

SYLVIA'S SPINACH

A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden.

Unable to trade away the seed packet she gets from her teacher for tomatoes, cukes or anything else more palatable, Sylvia reluctantly plants and nurtures a pot of the despised veggie then transplants it outside in early spring. By the end of school, only the plot’s lettuce, radishes and spinach are actually ready to eat (talk about a badly designed class project!)—and Sylvia, once she nerves herself to take a nibble, discovers that the stuff is “not bad.” She brings home an armful and enjoys it from then on in every dish: “And that was the summer Sylvia Spivens said yes to spinach.” Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look, and though Pryor skips over the (literally, for spinach) gritty details in both the story and an afterword, she does cover gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-1-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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