Readers who are familiar with traditional Indian folktales will recognize these well-known stories; readers new to them may...

READ REVIEW

MANGOES, MISCHIEF, AND TALES OF FRIENDSHIP

STORIES FROM INDIA

Eight traditional Indian folktales are retold in new, original settings.

Prince Veera and his good friend Suku, the farmer’s son, enjoy “play[ing] court,” following the example of wise King Bheema. When the king is unwell one day, the two 10-year-olds get permission to hear and judge some simple cases. Does the greedy merchant who makes delicious sweets deserve to be paid by the people who smell their intense fragrance? Did the pot that one neighbor gave to another for safekeeping contain jewels or mango pickles? How do you find out how many crows live in the city? The stories stand alone, as Prince Veera and Suku discuss and ponder, ask questions, and roam about while they contemplate their decisions. The text is simple and has some cultural details, giving a peek into traditional Indian life, but offers very little context or background. A notable omission is that no women or girls are included in any of the stories except one. No backmatter is included, no sources are mentioned, and there is no indication of the time period when these stories take place, detracting from the full enjoyment of these retellings. Krishnaswamy’s energetic black-and-white spot art offers authentic glimpses of Indian life, with illustrations of people, birds and animals, the marketplace, the countryside, and more.

Readers who are familiar with traditional Indian folktales will recognize these well-known stories; readers new to them may enjoy their quiet simplicity and the wisdom of the two young protagonists. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0067-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the...

CHARLIE BUMPERS VS. THE TEACHER OF THE YEAR

From the Charlie Bumpers series , Vol. 1

Charlie Bumpers is doomed. The one teacher he never wanted in the whole school turns out to be his fourth-grade teacher.

Charlie recalls third grade, when he accidentally hit the scariest teacher in the whole school with his sneaker. “I know all about you, Charlie Bumpers,” she says menacingly on the first day of fourth grade. Now, in addition to all the hardships of starting school, he has gotten off on the wrong foot with her. Charlie’s dry and dramatic narrative voice clearly reveals the inner life of a 9-year-old—the glass is always half empty, especially in light of a series of well-intentioned events gone awry. It’s quite a litany: “Hitting Mrs. Burke in the head with the sneaker. The messy desk. The swinging on the door. The toilet paper. And now this—the shoe on the roof.” Harley has teamed once again with illustrator Gustavson (Lost and Found, 2012) to create a real-life world in which a likable kid must face the everyday terrors of childhood: enormous bullies, looming teachers and thick gym coaches with huge pointing fingers. Into this series opener, Harley magically weaves the simple lesson that people, even teachers, can surprise you.

Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the sarcasm of Wimpy Kid. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-56145-732-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more