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The classic tale of a blonde house invader is given a new rock-’n’-roll spin.

Schwartz and Coulton use light verse to trace the beginnings of a hot new band. Papa Bear can play the drums, Mama Bear is great on guitar, and Baby Bear tickles the ivories, but none of them can hit the high notes they need to attract an audience. While they are out auditioning singers, Goldi stumbles upon their cottage-turned–recording studio. “ ‘A studio! Great balls of fire!’ / Amazed, Goldi raced through the door. / She forgot about food / and was now in the mood / to hurry on in and explore.” After trying out the various instruments, mics and headphones, she eventually falls asleep at the keyboard, where the bear family finds her drooling on the keys. Her startled scream is the perfect high C the band has been looking for. “Their albums now top all the rock charts. / A countrywide tour has been planned. / The fans scream and shout. / They’re crazy about… // Goldi Rocks and the Great Three Bear Band.” Wragg’s pencil-and–digital cartoon illustrations match the text but add little that’s new, and the limericklike verse doesn’t always scan well. Cute but not much more. (Fractured fairy tale. 5-8)


Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25685-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

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Amusing but a little off tempo.

It’s important to hit all the right notes.

A tan-skinned musical composer with puffy black hair is busy at work on his next musical masterpiece when Half Note, a music symbol denoting two beats, feels unappreciated. Half Note is jealous of the more commonly used Quarter Note (one beat) and Eighth Note. Although the other musical symbols attempt to calm and comfort Half Note, she decides to run away. The next day, Composer needs Half Note and panics when he realizes that she’s gone. The other notes and musical symbols try to find her, but it’s only when they try to play her favorite song, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” without her—with terrible results—that she comes running back. The story’s humor—which is largely based on “dad joke” puns—is completely dependent on readers’ musical knowledge. The artwork, a mix of acrylic and colored pencil, attempts to add some allegrezza to the piece, and while it’s not unsuccessful, it’s facing an uphill battle. Music teachers and musically minded caregivers may find some value in this story, but it will likely be too specialized for general readers. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Amusing but a little off tempo. (glossary) (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 14, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-64567-631-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Page Street

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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From the Lucy Tries Sports series

It’s a slam dunk

Lucy discovers that the way to learn to play basketball is with friends on a neighborhood court.

Lucy loves playing in the park, and one day she and her friends join their friend Ava and her cousin in their new favorite sport: basketball. Pro player Jermaine, aka “Coach J,” teaches all the basics—footwork, quick passes, dribbling, and a variety of shots. But he also encourages the players to keep trying when they miss, stresses the value of teamwork, and focuses on fun as they learn and later play a practice game. At the end of the workout, Coach J invites the young players to watch him and his team play. Written in loose rhyming couplets, the text has many near rhymes and inconsistent meter. While the storyline is predictable, the book is a good introduction to basketball terms, and young basketball players and fans will appreciate reading about themselves. Vivid silhouetted figures against a white background portray male and female players of several races; Lucy herself is white while Ava and Coach J are black. One young player competes from a wheelchair. A half page of backmatter explains the history of basketball, the NBA and its players, and wheelchair basketball, and one entry also explains the three-on-three basketball that the children play. The book publishes in a simultaneous French edition translated by Rachel Martinez.

It’s a slam dunk . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1697-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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