A delightful bathtime (or anytime) book perfect for reading aloud.

READ REVIEW

MORI THE PERFECT DOG

This children’s picture book celebrates a messy—and dearly loved—family pet.

Mori, an all-white dog with a pink tongue and black nose, has wonderfully soft, fluffy fur; as he states, “Everyone says I am perfect especially after bath time.” But Mori doesn’t want to be perfect; instead, he imagines the enchanting imperfection of being “muddy” (like a brown bear), “slimy” (like a green frog), “grubby” (like a pink pig), “scruffy” (like a yellow lion), “stinky” (like a red raccoon), and so on. But there’s nothing to worry about, his family says, as he’s already all these things, “but we still love you!” Now reassured that it’s OK to be himself, Mori rejoices and enjoys his bath. In her debut children’s book, Lam avoids tiresome moralizing about the virtues of cleanliness, recognizing that many children, like Mori, relish making a mess, which can be fun and creative. Of course, messy, stinky dogs, as well as kids, still need baths, but it’s easier without pressure to be perfect. The book has excellent read-aloud potential, making effective use of repetition and parallel phrases. Lam’s simple but charming and expressive colored-pencil and watercolor illustrations convey Mori’s personality while also helping to teach color names.

A delightful bathtime (or anytime) book perfect for reading aloud.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-7750506-0-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: CYL Studios

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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CINDERELLA

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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Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs.

WAYSIDE SCHOOL BENEATH THE CLOUD OF DOOM

Rejoice! 25 years later, Wayside School is still in session, and the children in Mrs. Jewls’ 30th-floor classroom haven’t changed a bit.

The surreal yet oddly educational nature of their misadventures hasn’t either. There are out-and-out rib ticklers, such as a spelling lesson featuring made-up words and a determined class effort to collect 1 million nail clippings. Additionally, mean queen Kathy steps through a mirror that turns her weirdly nice and she discovers that she likes it, a four-way friendship survives a dumpster dive after lost homework, and Mrs. Jewls makes sure that a long-threatened “Ultimate Test” allows every student to show off a special talent. Episodic though the 30 new chapters are, there are continuing elements that bind them—even to previous outings, such as the note to an elusive teacher Calvin has been carrying since Sideways Stories From Wayside School (1978) and finally delivers. Add to that plenty of deadpan dialogue (“Arithmetic makes my brain numb,” complains Dameon. “That’s why they’re called ‘numb-ers,’ ” explains D.J.) and a wild storm from the titular cloud that shuffles the school’s contents “like a deck of cards,” and Sachar once again dishes up a confection as scrambled and delicious as lunch lady Miss Mush’s improvised “Rainbow Stew.” Diversity is primarily conveyed in the illustrations.

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296538-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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