WHO’S THAT TRIPPING OVER MY BRIDGE?

Renowned storyteller and retired children’s-literature professor Salley debuts as a children’s author with a retelling of the Three Billy Goats Gruff story set in her home territory of southern Louisiana. The goats in question live upriver from New Orleans in East Feliciana Parish. They decide to fatten themselves up in the hills of West Feliciana, and to get there they must cross the old wooden bridge at Thompson Creek. But a great big ugly troll that loves to gobble anything crossing that bridge lives underneath. Each of the three goats pass by, the first two outwitting the troll, the third out-muscling it. Those who know her from numerous appearances at conferences and libraries around the country will hear echoes of Salley’s distinctive voice and delivery, as the troll challenges each goat. Dixon (The Cajun Night After Christmas, not reviewed) cagily disdains draftsmanship for the kind of wild, loose paint strokes, splatters, bits of collage, and bright colors which young children might take as their own. The effect is a mirror to the rising and falling volume and onomatopoeia Salley uses to energize this old Norwegian folk tale. Salley has retired only from teaching as she proves that her expert storytelling skills are still in full bloom in this auspicious read-aloud. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-56554-890-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Pelican

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2002

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A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached.

EXTRA YARN

A little girl in a town of white snow and soot-blackened chimneys opens a small box and discovers a never-ending gift of colorful yarn.

Annabelle knits herself a sweater, and with the leftover yarn, she knits one for her dog, and with the yarn left over from that, she knits one for a neighbor and for her classmates and for her teacher and for her family and for the birdhouse and for the buildings in town. All and everything are warm, cozy and colorful until a clotheshorse of an archduke arrives. Annabelle refuses his monetary offers, whereupon the box is stolen. The greedy archduke gets his just deserts when he opens the box to find it empty. It wends its way back to Annabelle, who ends up happily sitting in a knit-covered tree. Klassen, who worked on the film Coraline, uses inks, gouache and colorized scans of a sweater to create a stylized, linear design of dark geometric shapes against a white background. The stitches of the sweaters add a subdued rainbow. Barnett entertained middle-grade readers with his Brixton Brothers detective series. Here, he maintains a folkloric narrative that results in a traditional story arc complete with repetition, drama and a satisfying conclusion.

A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-195338-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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