A serene tale about a low-danger animal rescue featuring an adventurous and ambitious female protagonist.


Tac and Tuk: The Rescue

A young ground squirrel helps an injured goose form an unlikely friendship in Henney’s revised edition of a 1993 picture book, with new illustrations by Klose.

Tac and Tuk, two ground squirrels, are cousins and best friends despite their differences. Adventurous Tac longs to travel far away from their colony in Texas to see the Rocky Mountains. Tuk prefers their home and takes his job as lookout for their colony very seriously. When Tac confesses her dreams of travel to Tuk, her cousin just laughs: “That’s silly,” he tells her. “The Rocky Mountains are on the other side of the world!” Frustrated that he doesn’t understand, Tac wanders off and discovers a goose caught in the plastic loops from a six-pack. Unable to leave the poor bird suffering, Tac hurries back to the colony, enlisting the other ground squirrels to help the goose; in the process, she earns herself a friend who might be able to help her realize her dream of traveling. There’s very little conflict here, despite the setup: Tac and Tuk’s friendship seems poised for tension due to their different dreams, but when Tac befriends the goose, Bettina Bird, Tuk joins Tac in visiting Bettina while she recovers. As the story ends, Tac is looking forward to future adventures beyond her own colony, but readers may feel let down by an expectation that her real adventure is left for a future installment. Vocabulary is appropriate for independent readers in early- to mid-elementary school, though the text is quite dense, even on pages with illustrations. Klose’s illustrations, half in color, half in black and white, are delightful, from Tuk’s proud poise above the colony to Tac’s silly pink ribbon around her head. The details are charming, such as one ground squirrel playfully hanging off a breaking reed while trying to help the injured goose.

A serene tale about a low-danger animal rescue featuring an adventurous and ambitious female protagonist.

Pub Date: July 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5120-1427-3

Page Count: 28

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2015

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...


Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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