From France, a nonsensical story of one tricky coyote and a boy whose curiosity gets the better of him. A small boy notices an unusual coyote on the backyard hill of desert sand. This coyote is strangely purple and balances himself weathervane-like on one paw to send a distinctive howl into the air. The coyote will not reveal the origins of his coloring, or the reasons for his pose or howl. Jim pesters the creature with questions before, in a show of bravado, standing on one hand and howling. He turns purple and is thanked by the coyote, who has reverted to his desert-sand color. Jim attempts to entice a raccoon to a similar state of curiosity about his new color, but the raccoon is resoundingly not interested. Bold colors spar, at angles to one another, with the purple coyote or the boy’s red truck or cap keenly contrasted by planes of sky and sand. There’s no logic to this peculiar fantasy, except to highlight the perils of curiosity. Although the main character of the boy is never really endowed with personality, Rochette maintains the coyote’s character by painting a gleam in his eye that underscores his perpetual something-up-my-sleeve attitude. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 11, 1999

ISBN: 0-385-32664-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1999



In two short stories, Golembe (Dog Magic, 1997) chronicles the relocation of Annabelle, a puppy, from the frozen tundra to the warm tropics, thereby addressing the wide range of emotions involved in moving. Annabelle likes her old home and all the routines associated with it; she’s consequently bewildered when her family packs everything up and movers take their belongings away. While Annabelle has settled into her new home, she is lonely and finds it difficult to make new acquaintances. “She saw dogs who looked strange to her, not like the dogs in her old neighborhood.” A romp at a local dog beach provides the opportunity for Annabelle to find friendship. Golembe’s illustrations are a panorama of lush tropical colors—vivid fuchsias, deep indigos, and rich azure hues entice the eye. Her sympathetic treatment of the subject and the positive resolution offers encouragement for children immersed in the turmoil of moving. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-395-91543-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1999



PLB 0-688-15542-1 My Day In The Garden ($16.00; PLB $15.93; Apr.; 24 pp.; 0-688-15541-3; PLB 0-688-15542-1): The creative heroines in this gentle story of easy companionship show that rainy days can be full of fun. “Berry-picking with the birds./Lunch with the ladybugs./Under a tree for a nap,” are among the scenes; with the aid of costumes and the girls’ imaginations, the foursome create their own party, dressing up as butterflies, ladybugs, crickets, even worms. They eat, wriggle, sing, and play hide-and-seek. As darkness falls, the girls disband, and one child is seen asleep, with more dreams of the garden dancing in her head. Lobel’s idyllic illustrations are as lovely as a sunny summer afternoon, while the lyrical text demonstrates inventive simplicity. Charming. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-688-15541-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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