Children's Book Reviews (page 3234)

THE BIG FISH by Klaus Kordon
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 31, 1992

"An international group of children parading across the endpapers makes a fetching invitation to this well-meaning, attractively turned-out book, but the color stereotyping in the story is a serious flaw. (Picture book. 6-8)"
When the stranded fish that a couple has rescued offers to grant a wish, they ask for a child—but then reject the fish's first two offerings: ``That girl is completely black...That boy is entirely brown, and we are white.'' After the couple spurns two more orphans because ``they are all yellow,'' the fish leaves them in disgust. Read full book review >
THE FUTURE OF YEN-TZU by Winifred Morris
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 31, 1992

"The story, however, with its clear, economical narration and an outcome that is both logical and peaceable, is unusually strong. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8)"
In a tale that LC terms ``traditional Chinese'' (though no source is given), a humble hero's adventures assume the fortunately/unfortunately pattern: Yen-tzu sets out with a horse to seek his future; the horse runs away but comes back with a mare; the mare throws him, injuring his leg, but his limp keeps him from being impressed by the soldiers who steal both horses. Read full book review >

CHILDREN'S
Released: March 31, 1992

"Bibliography; index and b&w photos not seen. (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
A sympathetic portrayal of 12 illegal immigrants who entered the US during the 80's to escape their lives in Mexico, El Salvador, Ecuador, Haiti, Guatemala, Jamaica, and Honduras. Read full book review >
THE DAY THE LIFTING BRIDGE STUCK by Robert Yagelski
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 31, 1992

"Cheery cartoon-style illustrations from a first-time illustrator, plenty of cars and boats to look at, and a modicum of insight into one modern fact of life. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Sooner or later, there had to be a contemporary children's book about gridlock, and here it is: brief bios of a representative sample of those caught in the jam; the bridge- keeper's struggles to get his malfunctioning bridge moving; an aerial view (the roads are decorative, but make a remarkably nonfunctional pattern; the cars are wider than the two-lane roads); then the bridge recovers (not much explanation here), and everybody gets going again. Read full book review >
CRINKLEROOT'S GUIDE TO KNOWING THE TREES by Jim Arnosky
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 31, 1992

"An attractive introduction, with illustrations that convey information as lucidly as the brief but concise and well-organized text. (Nonfiction. 5-10)"
The appealing old woodland character introduced in I Was Born in a Tree and Raised by Bees (1977) explains the parts of a tree, uses leaves, seeds, and fall colors to differentiate among species, and then describes the differences between hardwood and softwood forests, emphasizing the advantages of a mixed woods to the many creatures who live in it. Read full book review >

SERENA KATZ by Charlotte Pomerantz
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 31, 1992

"A treat for readers who find Miss Rumphius a bit too genteel. (Picture book. 7-9)"
All of Elmsville is excited to hear that Mr. Duncan and his family are off to N.Y.C. to visit the great Serena Katz—but is she who they think she is? Read full book review >
ROSES SING ON NEW SNOW by Paul Yee
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 31, 1992

"A satisfying variant on a theme that appears in many cultures. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The Canadian author of Tales from Gold Mountain (1991) tells another story about the Chinese-American experience. Read full book review >
ALBERT'S PLAY by Leslie Tryon
ANIMALS
Released: March 31, 1992

"Any school would be fortunate to have the unflappable Albert—and every child should have a chance to meet him. (Picture book. 5-9)"
The second book from this talented author-illustrator is as delightfully fresh and innovative as Albert's Alphabet (1991). Read full book review >
I HAVE ANOTHER LANGUAGE by Eleanor Schick
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 31, 1992

"The appealing soft gray of the illustrations is just right for this mood piece; with precise yet understated line and gentle shading, Schick depicts the narrator's joy and captures the special grace of a memorable performance. (Picture book. 5-10)"
In spare prose and soft-pencil illustrations, Schick (a former dancer who studied with Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey) evokes a day in the life of a young African-American performer, beginning with a glimpse of home and school but focusing on dance class and her first stage appearance, when ``every movement feels more real than it ever has before'' and when last night's dreams combine with the morning's first hint of spring to create ``Things I can't say in words,'' but can suddenly express with dance. Read full book review >
THE GREAT ADVENTURE OF WO TI by Nathan Zimelman
ANIMALS
Released: March 31, 1992

"Zimelman tells his story with a leisurely grace that begs for sharing aloud; Downing's watercolors are colorful and pleasingly designed, with the cat—like many a fine villain—easily stealing the show. (Picture book. 4-9)"
All is peaceful in the garden of Peking's Summer Palace; hunger is locked on the other side of the high walls until Kitti Ho, chased by a gang of boys and dogs, takes refuge inside. Read full book review >
BEWARE OF THE AUNTS! by Pat Thomson
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 31, 1992

"Still, there's enough lighthearted merriment here (along with the social satire) to make this a worthwhile purchase. (Picture book. 5-8)"
The middle-child narrator has an ordinary enough family until it comes to aunts, of whom there are simply too many, each with some disconcerting trait: one kisses too much, another eats huge amounts; Aunt Zara makes not only her own odd garments but things for her reluctant nieces; there's even one aunt with all the appearance of being a witch. Read full book review >
WHISPERING IN THE PARK by Fred Burstein
ANIMALS
Released: March 31, 1992

"An attractive idyll and role model that could be used with toddler groups. (Picture book. 1-6)"
Miriam and Sophie arrive in the park at the same time, each with a box of animal crackers in her hand and with her mother pushing a baby in a stroller. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >