TESSA’S TIP-TAPPING TOES

Crimi (Don’t Need Friends, not reviewed, etc.) and Carrington (Sometimes I Feel Like a Stormcloud, not reviewed, etc.) team up for a humorous tale of a tap-dancing mouse and a singing cat who are more interested in their particular talents than in the traditional game of cat-and-mouse. Tessa the mouse is warned by her mother to stop tapping and twirling and to start scurrying quietly like a proper mouse. Oscar the cat is warned by his owner, Mrs. Trimboni, to start chasing the mice and to stop “crooning or caterwauling” because he bothers the neighbors. Both creatures go on with the show in another stay-true-to-yourself story that ends in a toe-tapping jam-fest with the mouse family, the cat, and Mrs. Trimboni all singing and kicking up their heels. Crimi uses expressive, rollicking language to describe the dancing and singing: “the skitter-scamper of little mice feet,” “a rowdy, riotous tune,” and “an all-out rock-’n’-roll, boogie-woogie, hip-hop, two-step combo.” Carrington’s large, crayon-bright paintings with varying perspectives are complemented by an oversized format with lots of double-page spreads. She has a flair for the hilarious touch, such as Tessa’s bottle-cap tap shoes and Oscar’s broomstick microphone. Although the storyline isn’t exceptional, this will fit well into lots of thematic story hours (mice, cats, dancing, singing, or follow-your-heart). (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-439-31768-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2002

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

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. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

UNICORN WINGS

The can’t-miss subject of this Step into Reading series entry—a unicorn with a magic horn who also longs for wings—trumps its text, which is dry even by easy-reader standards. A boy unicorn, whose horn has healing powers, reveals his wish to a butterfly in a castle garden, a bluebird in the forest and a snowy white swan in a pond. Falling asleep at the edge of the sea, the unicorn is visited by a winged white mare. He heals her broken wing and she flies away. After sadly invoking his wish once more, he sees his reflection: “He had big white wings!” He flies off after the mare, because he “wanted to say, ‘Thank you.’ ” Perfectly suiting this confection, Silin-Palmer’s pictures teem with the mass market–fueled iconography of what little girls are (ostensibly) made of: rainbows, flowers, twinkly stars and, of course, manes down to there. (Easy reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83117-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more