Perhaps more an artist’s book than a children’s book but universally mesmerizing.

SOME THINGS I'VE LOST

“Where there’s an end / there’s a beginning. / Things grow. / Things change.”

Twelve figures are each placed singly on a white page: a change purse; Mom’s glasses; sister’s headphones. On the recto, which is always a foldout, is a simple description: a number (“Fig. 8”), the name of the object (“Guitar case”), a “last seen” note (“Hillcrest Park—birthday party”). Opening the foldout marks the beginning of the magic. A series of photographic images on the same white background show the transformation of the object into something rich and strange, if not always recognizable. A blue umbrella transmutes into a jellyfish in four steps. Dad’s messenger bag metamorphoses into a spiny sea creature. Amazingly, a set of keys and their ring become a tropical garden. Even more amazingly, each object in each multiple incarnation is made entirely of Japanese paper sculpture. All of them are displayed in a double-page spread at the end on a pale azure background, and the book closes with a photograph of the artist so readers can see how small these fabulous creations are. The nature of art, the nature of transformation, and where all those lost items go are spun into the gold of philosophy and puckishness.

Perhaps more an artist’s book than a children’s book but universally mesmerizing. (Picture book. 5-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-55498-339-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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